This is just a little bit of background. Me. My brother. Our family. I feel like it's important. We'll get to the real story soon. I'm making 2 posts this week, because I feel like Wednesday's post was just a little intro into what I'm doing and why so you guys needed something else for this week. I'm thinking of 1, maybe 2 posts a week. But it depends on how fast and easy the story comes to me. So far it's been easy to write, though it's been difficult to re-live. But anyway....some background....
My brother is a good person. He is kind, gentle, sweet, and loving. He has achieved many things in his young life. Things everyone has busted with pride over. He has also made mistakes. Like most people do. Some of them huge. Huge mistakes. But nothing could make me love him any less. He is my baby brother. My only sibling.
We’re different people, my brother and I. But so very much alike. We were raised in a good home by wonderful and loving parents. We had an amazing extended family and they were all close. Every holiday was full of people, love, laughter, stories, and of course, food. We always had everything we needed. We were taught right from wrong. Good and bad. There was more happy than sad. We knew and could feel love every single day. Even though we joke about it, I do not think my parents love one of us more than the other. Even with the same upbringing, we are two very different people.
I didn’t excel in school, but I didn’t struggle. I didn’t try very hard, but I still did well. My brother was a very bright boy, but he had a hard time in school. As a child he was very much into scouts and sports. As he got older those seemed to be things he grew out of. I wasn’t in to too much as a kid. Gymnastics for a couple months, then there was dance, and basketball, and so on and so forth. Nothing ever lasted very long. That changed when I got into high school. I found a love for running and ran track. I was fast, but I wasn’t a super star runner. I didn’t mind. It was still fun.
I always knew I would graduate from high school and then go on to college. I knew what I wanted to be, even though that changed eventually. My brother didn’t really have a plan until he became a Senior. Then one day he decided he was going to join the Marines. We were so proud of him. And scared. But who isn’t when their loved one joins during a time of war.
My brother is 3 years younger than I am. I graduated from high school his freshman year. I stuck around and went to college locally. The older we got, the closer we got. He was becoming more of a friend than just my brother and I loved it. He went to boot camp during my last semester in college. We ended up graduating one day apart.
The whole weekend was jam packed. Thursday I had convocation and my brother had his family day. My mom and aunt spent the day with me while dad and Steve were with my brother. We got on a plane Thursday night and flew down to South Carolina to see him graduate the next day. He graduated Friday afternoon and after lunch we headed back to the airport to come home. My graduation was the next morning. It was go-go-go all weekend long, but it was so worth it.
George was home for a few days before going off to training. He’d been gone 13 weeks and it was the longest we’d ever been apart. We had a hell of a couple of days while he was home. It was difficult to say goodbye again, but we managed. Summer came and went. I moved out of mom and dad’s. George came to visit a few times. Goodbye became far too familiar. It became too easy. It was more familiar for us to be apart than for us to be close and together.
Eventually he made it to his “home” and he ended up in North Carolina. It made visiting easier. Though we never actually got to do that. We were both growing up and having fun doing that together and apart. I missed having him around all the time, but it made his visits that much more fun. George had some problems. He had gotten hurt and had some other issues. His time in the military was short lived. He eventually came home. I was happy to have him back, but I knew he was disappointed in himself. George started working after he got home. He liked what he did. It was his trade. He was good at it. There was another accident. A dangerous accident. He ended up losing a job he really enjoyed. He struggled with unemployment. He took off for a while. And I mean he left. Just picked up and left. Without any warning. And as an adult he was allowed to do that. But this was different. It was like it was running away. Actually, it wasn't like he was running away. He ran away. But it was definitely out of character for him. He was becoming a different person and there was nothing we could do about it. Help was offered, but not accepted. He didn't want it. Not yet. He went from here to Florida and eventually ending up in Indiana. He came back. Just like he had before. I was excited to have him back. Just like I’d always been. He came back to try and start over. And shortly after he came back our happy world came crashing down.