Health by Heidi
|Posted on August 17, 2015 at 7:25 PM|
My senior year in high school, my English teacher (whom also happened to be my dad) gave us the assignment of writing a two page essay about a role model. Many of my classmates chose famous athletes or pop culture icons. I chose my brother. He truly was my role model. He taught me how to dribble and shoot a basketball. He spent countless hours on the ski hill with me, teaching me how to do parallel turns and ski moguls without breaking my leg. He is eight years older than me so graduated high school when I was finishing fifth grade. Being at college didn't stop him from coming home and working with me on my jump shot when he had a free weekend. As I got into high school, he traveled the state of Wyoming from border to border to watch me play sports, whether it be volleyball or basketball. When I went to college, he traveled across the country to watch me play volleyball. He always would be more nervous than me before games, and would always congratulate me with a big hug after it was all over. I admired his patience with me (what 12-year-old boy would have the patience or interest to teach his annoying four-year-old sister how to dribble a basketball?) and his never-ending support. I admired his ease with people. He just has a way of walking into a room and being comfortable conversing with anyone. He is one of the most talented public speakers I have ever seen. At my dad's memorial service a few years ago, none of us had really planned on saying much. People were asking for a speech and looking to me. I quickly passed the baton to my brother, who got up in front of the crowd and gave a moving, humorous, beautiful tribute to my dad, delivered straight from the heart. We traveled to California together. We traveled Europe together. We have had a lot of great times together.
As the years have gone by, we have both gotten married and he has two young children. Between work and family, we don't see each other as much as we would like. We have been trying for ages now to get together for a bike ride, just the two of us, but things kept getting in the way. Finally, this past weekend, I went over to his house and spent three days with him and his two kids. The whole point of me going over there was so we could do a bike ride together, just the two of us, which we did. We rode on Saturday, an easy 35 mile flat loop. It was great. I enjoyed every pedal stroke of that ride, and I wish we could do it again next weekend, and the next, and the next.
The highlight for me, however, was not the bike ride. It was the evenings spent visiting with each other after the kids had gone to bed. Both nights, we cracked open a bottle of wine and just told stories. We rehashed our childhoods. We talked about our high school experiences, friends, the house where we grew up, our parents, our trips together. We reconnected. We rediscovered. We got to know each other all over again. It was so much fun! He is the same funny, smart, driven, patient, nurturing, ambitious, kind person that I remember from my childhood. I loved every moment and wished the evenings would never end.
We both agreed that we need to get together more often, just the two of us. I hope it happens. It is easy to let life get in the way, but sometimes we just have to be bigger than life. We have to make it work somehow or another. I am positive that another weekend will present itself and we will get together again, just the two of us. He was such a big part of my life as a child and young adult. I would like him to be a big part of my life as an adult, too.
I still have the essay from high school. It is tucked away in my filing cabinet. Without reading it, I still remember what it says, all these years later. Maybe someday, just for the fun of it, I will write another one. And the topic will still be my brother.