This is the way it’s been for more than 40 years. His arm around me. There have been bumps in the road, of course. For any two people who have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, you can’t escape a few bumps in the road. But at the core of it, this captures us.
My big brother and me.
I was blessed to be with him this week. As we sat together that first night, the first time we had been in each other’s company in far too long, he asked me, “How are you, Manda? How are you really?” Dave has never pronounced the first “A” on my name, a loving nickname that only he and his beautiful wife use.
I poured out my soul to him in the minutes that followed. We spoke as if no time had separated us. That’s how it is with brothers and sisters and true friends. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been apart. When you’re reunited, time and space have no meaning. “We’ve surfed the edge, you and me,” he said with a sly smile.
We just sat there, feeling the emotion of being with someone you loved nearly more than yourself.
“Good things are coming, Manda,” he said. “Good things are coming to you. You can bank on it. It’s just in your nature. It’s who you are.”
Other people have tried to give me similar words of encouragment in recent months, but for some reason, the truth of what he said sank in all the way the bone. Good things ARE coming. It IS my nature. I have been trying to push away my nature for some time, see a darkness or lack that simply isn’t who I am. It took hearing the words from the man who is my brother, the boy in the chair all grown up, to hear the truth of it.
Thank you, my brother.
My brother and my father used to sign off letters when I was young and away at school, then later emails as that became our means of communication, “It’s a good day to be a Dickson.” A proud sign-off, to be sure, but I loved the sentiment. We felt strong as a family, bonded to each other, one in our fate and devotion. As my brother flies back to Pennsylvania now to attend to his business and his wife and my father, caring for the people we both love so much, he leaves behind a sister who is more able to care for herself and her family because of his words.
It truly is a good day to be a Dickson.