Friday, December 29, 2006

My Biggest Brother

Ok, you guys, I'm totally warning you. I am about to get all serious. I know this blog is mainly all hee hee and haw haw because that is what my peoples love. And really, that is how I live most of my life. In fact, "hee hee and haw haw" should be my middle name. Except Librarian Hee Hee and Haw Haw Girl is just ridiculous, so it's not going to be my middle name. Anyhoo. I'm just saying. If you don't want to see me get all serious, avert your peepers right now.

See, today is my big brother's birthday, and so of course, I am thinking about my customary shout-out to him on this here blog. Writing brithday shout-outs is hard, because it means I have to take these incredibly important, complex people and try to come up with some anecdote that says something about them in just a few paragraphs. So I have to think to myself, what do I want the Innernets to know about the Birthday Loved One? What can I possibly say that will mean something to all of you out there who have never met me, never met them, and that says something about the core of who the Birthday Person is? It's a tall order, and I don't know if I'm successful at doing it half the time, but here I go again.

My brother is over a decade older than I am. All of my siblings are a lot older than me, and they are all close in age to each other. I came along way after the three of them (can anyone say "accident"?) and have often felt envious of their closeness, their shared experiences, their 70s hairdos in old photos. This may sound strange, but some of the memories I cherish the most about my brother are ones that I can't even remember. My parents tell me about how he helped care for me when I was a baby. My parents had just immigrated to this country with three rugrats and then had me and it was a high-stress time for everyone. I'm sure everyone was homesick for the homeland and that there was a large helping of worry on everyone's plate, with enough left over for second helpings. So, my brother helped out with the newest kiddie on the block. He fed me,and hung out with me, and nurtured me. Nice, right? Damn my baby brains for not being able to remember that.

The second thing I have to say about my brother is probably the most profound thing a younger sibling can say about an older sibling. Ready? You may want to sit down for this. My entire life, my brother has never been mean to me. Never! And believe me, I was the youngest in my family, and in my neighborhood, so I know the tyranny of the older over the younger. I know what it feels like to get my ass beat for being born last. I know what it's like to be left out of the big kid games. In fact, being left out of big kid games could be my middle name. Ok, fine, I'll stop with the middle name thing already. The point is, he never pulled that shit with me. My older brother was nice to me. He would have been totally within his rights as the big brother if he would have chosen to shove me a little. I mean, making little sisters cry is, like, in the Big Brother Handbook somewhere, right? But he never did that. I'd say that is a pretty big deal.

So, when I was twenty, my life turned crap right before my eyes. What until then had been a pretty great life all of a sudden turned into some sort of horrible messed up sickening thing. I had been the victim of a violent crime, I had to stop going to school, I had no money, no job, no plan, no nothing. Everyone has those shitty times in life and that just happened to be mine. I was fresh out of the hee hee and the haw haw that had carried me through all of my life and I felt like I had no place to go.

You know what my brother did? He took me in. I packed my one little bag and I came to the west coast, and he slapped a futon on his floor and let me stay. This act, in itself, was a profoundly loving thing to do when you're busy living your own life and you've got, I'm sure, your own shit to deal with. But that's not the most profound thing that happened. Because, see, I am lucky enough to have lots of people in my life that would have taken me in because I needed a place . It didn't have to be him. I could've gone to my beloved parents, or to my many friends. But the thing is, he was the one that knew that I didn't want to talk. I just needed space. To think about what had happened, to figure out what to do next. To just take a few deep breaths and feel like myself again. To get back that hee hee and haw haw that seemed really far away. So he took me in, and he didn't ask me any questions. He didn't ask me what my plan was, or if I had one. He didn't ask me for details about what had happened, and how the heck it was that I was so, so sad and how the heck did I think I was going to pull out of it. So, for the second time in my life, he fed me, and hung out with me, and nurtured me. And this time my brain was grown up enough to remember it.

Happy birthday, big brother. You are big, indeed.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl


Anonymous said...

Reading your birthday shout-outs makes me want to be your friend so that I can have one too! You are great at them...this one even made me tear up. And I'm a cold, heartless bastard! (Okay, I'm really not...but it seemed to flow so well.)

Sphincter said...

I have 2 older brothers (9 and 12 years older.) They were often horrid to me, but they never allowed anybody else to be mean to me. Not even my parents! Yes, I was the recipient of many noogies and wedgies over the years, but truly, they rock.

PS--I'm glad you made it. Thank your brother for us.

french panic said...

Hurray for people who understand that when bad things happen, it doesn't mean you want to talk about them.

You just made me simultaneously weepy and happy on this slow Saturday morning.

Happy Birthday Biggest Brother!

Melinda said...

I agree w/ sphincter. (That's a fun sentence to type.) GIve your brother a big thank you and a woot-woot from me.

Sauntering Soul said...

Wow, my brothers are both pretty awesome but I don't think I could put their awesomeness into words as eloquently as you did.

Happy Birthday big brother!

Anonymous said...

You made me cry. I am envious of your relationship with your brother and yet thrilled there are men like that in the world today. Yay for you brother!

Anonymous said...

Glad you got your hee hee and haw haw back (write a song about that Justin Timberlake!), and that you have an excellent brother. Siblings rock!

La Crosse sends you much love, by the way.

Darlene said...

omg - You totally pulled a 'Barbara Walters' and I'm now crying.

What a beautiful tribute to your brother. Thank him for us :o)

Happy Brithday Librarian's Brother!

HollyGL said...

Lovely post! Wish that there were more out there like your brother!

Anonymous said...

What a great post - and I'm jealous of your relationship with your brother. Happy birthday Big Brother!

Katie Kiekhaefer said...

I love your birthday posts--most of them, particularly this one, make me all choked up and teary. Happy Birthday to your big brother--makes me wish I had my own! Sounds like you are pretty lucky to have him but I'm sure he would say you're the greatest too.