Yesterday, I went to my younger brother’s new house for the first time. And I really realized something he’d been saying to me about the house throughout the buying process. It’s the house I’d been describing to him throughout my life. It’s a small house on a lake, with a porch that is just designed for morning coffee and contemplation. Small enough to be easy to care for, large enough to have room for books. The interior has the exact feel of the places that appeal to me…a bit rustic, lots of light, and old enough to feel well worn. Gave me a strange feeling.
Now first thought was the obvious…jealousy. But the truth is that I’ve never been jealous of him. I’m as much a parent as a sister because of our age differences, with the resulting desire for him to have a better shot than I had. In fact, throughout our lives, I’ve worked very hard for just that, so in some ways it feels like success.
But the difficulty was seeing the answer to some of the ‘what if’ questions that those of us who have had challenging lives always ask ourselves. What if my life had been different? How would I be different? I realized how good a litmus test he is for these questions. Our backgrounds are similar enough that he’s a lot like me, but different enough, especially in the aspects of stability and absence of abuse, that in him I can see the answers to a few of these questions.  
In some ways this shows me what to be grateful to the nasty experiences for. His character isn’t quite as developed in the areas that come from experience of tragedy. He can be a bit whiny, a bit thoughtless, and a bit of a child. Not much, it shows up under stress usually. And never towards me. I think we’re both blessed with a spirit of gratitude towards each other, which makes me thankful every day. But it’s there, and he hasn’t yet developed the capacity for self-analysis that would point these things out to him.  
But the one talent he has that I have yet to develop is the ability to grant himself permission to be happy. Somehow, the new house just pointed this out to me in a real way. It’s the place I would have chosen to get for myself, if so much energy hadn’t been channelled into just coping, merely surviving…and running from my demons. Being there made me feel…wistful. I can’t say that I would choose to rearrange my life to have put myself in his shoes at his age, but it certainly affected me and made me stop and think.  
One thing I’m definitely glad is all his….ALL the inlaws were there yesterday to ‘help’. O.O
 

1 Comment
  1. lillyofthevalleylcb 12 years ago

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((Bummer)))))))))))))))))))))  Part of this is for all of us to learn that we can take over our lives, granted one baby step at a time, is there something smaller than that?? a micro Barbie or Ken step?? lol knowing when a hazard is gonna set us off and looking for a way around it. Hang in there my dear bummer!!!

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