I got home last night from spending four days with my brothers. It was truly an extraordinary time; special to me in a way I’m not sure I can completely convey.
The three of us live in different cities; I live in a different state. We see each other a couple of times a year, typically around a holiday, and always around a large group of people. There are exchanged pleasantries, and catching up on the latest with our families and jobs. A few times they’ve come with their families to visit me, but we’ve never spent time alone – just the three of us. We’ve never given ourselves time to get past the surface stuff and talk, heart to heart, about the things that matter. That is, until this week.
I looked at them both, away from the families and careers that now define them, and saw the boys that they were. I remembered the kids with whom I’d shared a bathroom, a home, parents, a life. Running before my mind’s eye was a home movie of boys riding dirt bikes and playing ball in the back yard, of an incessant drum beat from the bedroom of a boy surrounded by KISS posters and dreams of becoming a rock star, of a horn-playing boy surrounded by a million friends. My brothers, now men, are loving and strong and living out their dreams in their own lives, with their own families. I’m so proud of who they’ve become.
Throughout the week, I kept thinking about blood ties. What makes those ties so different from our other relationships? Certainly, there is a shared history. But oftentimes, we know other people better than those to whom we’re related. Even so, the ties we have with our families (like it or not) are strong. They connect us to a “center” somehow, grounding us and providing a bedrock to our existence. Even those with a painful family experience find it hard to just walk away. Often, the longing for resolution to long-standing issues or restoration for estrangement is too strong to ignore, because blood ties are heart ties. We aren’t just tied together with our families by proximity or shared experience. We have the same blood coursing through our veins.
Our families are the only ones with whom we have ties at both the beginning and the end of life. It’s through getting to really know them, that we can shed light on parts of ourselves that perhaps we don’t fully know or understand. Sometimes, they are the key to lifetime mysteries and, often, they are the ones that will stand with you when everyone else walks away.
Even in the busiest of times, we are doing ourselves a favor to take time to invest in strengthening our family relationships. My familial blood is pumping strongly through my heart this day, even though my brothers and I are once again separated by miles. Because we did some “heart exercise”, those blood ties seem thicker and less effected by the distance.
They truly are the ties that bind.
…A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
“…often, they are the ones that will stand with you when everyone else walks away”.
How blessed we are when our families always stand with us. Melinda, so glad you had this time with your brothers. What a great picture!
So true. There is nothing like family – the good, the bad, the ugly! I’m glad you had that time with your brothers.
Now girl, that’s a sweet post. I’m so glad for your time with them. I wish my sister and I were close. We simply aren’t and probably won’t ever be. There are wounds that run deep. I’m sure that your brothers feel as blessed as you do.
Thanks for checking up on me. I’m doing find, just another reality check this week.
This is so precious. I can not wait to get more next week,
There truly is nothing quite like family! I have three older sisters – and we're spread out all over the place. But at least once a year we gather (usually here in Arizona) for several days. It's a time of such tremendous fun, fellowship & food.
How wise are you to keep that three-fold cord strengthened.
Having lost my only brother to a vicious battle of cancer over 6 years ago, I am so happy you got to spend time with your two! How precious a time I know y’all must’ve had. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. *hugs*
WAY WAY AWESOME!
I am so glad you were able to do that Melinda. Oh how i wish i could do that with my brothers. Maybe one day….just not yet.
Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
I love ya,
That’s a trip you’ll never regret! Makes me want to call my brother and sister!
Beautiful. I have two sisters. One was 18 years old when I was born and the other is a twin sister. We live close to one another, we talk on the phone and see each other regularly. We truly are the best of friends.
Bless by the tie that binds,
How wonderful, Linda! My brother is 8 years older than me and 13 years older than my sister. We are scattered across the US and literally do not get the time (or make the time) to see each other. My sister has multiple illnesses and is home bound. I try to travel and see her every 3 years, but I know I’m going to have to step that up. We stay close through blogging and phone calls. My brother, he wants to stay distanced. There’s just no getting close. It’s a shame. He’s missing so much.
I’m so glad you had a good time with your brothers.
This was just beautiful. What a precious time together. 🙂