This is my dad and my brother, Dave.
I am writing this blog as I wait for my brother’s plane to arrive. He’s been texting me every hour or so to tell me his arrival will be late, then later, then later still. I’ve been looking forward to having dinner with him. No matter what time he finally gets here, that’s when we’ll eat. I love having dinner with my brother.
I remember going to fancy restaurants with him when we were teenagers. We liked pretending to be grown up, ordering steaks or scallops, leaving big tips. When we lived in Fort Lauderdale, we liked a Polynesian restaurant called the Mai Kai. We would take each other there on our birthdays, have the wait staff sing, get the celebratory ice sculpture with the mellon balls and the sparkler on top.
When we were older, we would meet at chain restaurants in whatever city we were living in, swap tales of our spouses, work out problems, say “I’ve got your back” or something more delicate that meant the same thing. And when things went wrong, even after good advice, we would say the same thing. Or say nothing, and feel the truth of our support for each other in the silence.
When we lost our mother a year ago, we ate take-out from styrofoam containers in her hospital room. . . or we tried to eat. Dave’s sweet wife would get us comfort meals and slices of pie, and we’d sit together and try to stop crying long enough to take a few bites of meatloaf. We smiled at each other, those soft, strong smiles that said, “I’m here for you – now and after she’s gone.”
I am blessed with a brother who is as close to my soul as a human being can be. I feel his strength as if it were my own, his pain as if it were mine too, and his success as if the party has already started and I’m the guest of honor.
So Dave – don’t worry how late your plane is. I’ll be here when you get here.