Thursday, October 21, 2004


Hi Al ~  I hope you don't mind that I share pictures of you guys.  I just want to express...

Ahh who am I kidding?  My brother doesn't read my journal.  I imagine he would if he had the time.  He's got his hands full.  If he's not busy running his business, he's with his family and/or their friends.  He could be at a school event, a baseball game, picking someone up from gymnastics, spending time with his wife - my sister-in-law (love her!)

Al and I have always loved each other.  I've never doubted that.  But we haven't been in close contact.  When we were young, four years was a huge gap in age.  I started high school when he was still in elementary school.  I started college when he started high school.  I graduated college when he graduated high school.  Different lives.  Different interests.  Different friends.  Today I'm like, "He's only four years younger than me."

I got to see him in a different light this time.  It had been seven years (when his daughter was born).  He was a young man - still a guy, kinda.

We're older now, with more life experience.  We've both grown.  Well, he's grown - I've shrunk.  We're two different people today than we were the last time we saw each other.  And I adore this man. ["man" - tickles me because I still see him as a little 8-year-old in feety pajamas, slurping chocolate milk through a straw.]

Then I remember he's a dad.  A DAD!  And a GOOD dad at that.  I don't even know where to begin there.  Trying to absorb and digest his life in just a few days was damn-near impossible.  The time we did share will be treasured forever.

He has endearing nicknames for his kids.  Ohhhh his kids, my niece and nephew.  My heart fills and my eyes water when I think of them.  I'm mush for the kids.  And I love his wife - strong, intelligent, personable, and an incredible mom.

I can't forget their dogs!  So appropriate for the family- two beautiful American Bulldogs  (right Cheryl? American Bulldogs?)  One is such a lover, he rolls on his back while crawling to anyone coming to pet him.  The other will knock over the china cabinet to scurry away from new people.  It didn't take long for Beth's daughter and Cheryl to win him over.  I came in a close third at gaining his trust.

Al, on the off-chance that you are reading my journal... 

I'm so in love with your family.  I can hardly stand being 3000 miles away.  Thank you for all that you did for me while I was in town.  The love you have for your children, your wife, your friends and our family is a blessing.  I feel honored to be part of your life.

You're an inspiration.  It amazes me that we came from the same family.  You, a military-man.  Me, a freeepeace.  We may not agree with, or understand each other's choices.  But there's one commonality we share today - RESPECT.  Add that to the love that's always been there and we've got ourselves a real good thing here!

I miss you already.  You're always in my heart - but let's not wait another seven years to hug each other again.  Love you...

[and now for a private joke moment]

Ow. Quit it.
I say we let him go.
Goin' to Canada ey?


readmereadyou said...

So much love here. How wonderful to see between a brother and sister. : )
Four years isn't very much. My brothers were like fathers to me when I was growing up. They are 10 and 12 years older. Now that's a lot. Luckily though, no matter how old I get, they still call me thier kid sister. : )

coy1234787 said...

Sweet entry Free, there is nothing more important than family.
                   *** Coy ***

jennipooh3597 said...

Awwwwww!  Great entry, Freee :)  My little brother is also 4 years younger than me... so, I really *get* what you're talkin' about here!  (we couldn't be more different if we tried!)  I miss him and his family as well.  Glad you had such a wonderful visit!  L, Jenn

slowmotionlife said...

Great entry.  I still say you and your brother look a lot alike.  Beautiful children - they're blessed for having you as their Aunt.  Wouldn't it be great if they could come out to California with the kids and see where you live, etc?  It sounds as if you could really use him in your life and vice versa, time to get to know each other all over again, as adults - you know?  I'm just glad that you had such a good time with them.  And I'm glad your home again, safe and sound.  Hugs!!  :D

kuhlhiggins said...

Hi Free,
I loved this entry. It was very nice. So glad you went to visit him and bonded with him.

babyshark28 said...

aww. my eye's are all watery here!!  I really have felt I have been a part of your journey to peace freee.  I remember past entries about your family. I remember the feelings you struggled over concerning the distance. the separation in more ways than one. And to sit here now and read these past few entries is like....watching you cross your finish line after a race filled with struggles, or the top of your mountain after a climb that almost consumed you.  It's hard to describe, it's just a REALLY great feeling.   I can only imagine a 1/4 of how you must feel, and that feeling alone makes me feel all mushy gushy.  You must be walking on air. :D

The pictures are beautiful.  Your entries are way past "touching" they are a full on squeeze to the heart!  I can't thank you enough for sharing, You don't have to, but you are.

I LOVE those "private joke" moments. :D

barbaramck said...

FreePeace & MilitaryMan make an EXCELLENT combo!!!

my little brother is 5yrs younger and is a great dad too *wink*

if at all possible, make a pact to call each other at least once a week to catch up. you'll be surprised at how fast you two will know one-a-other inside and out.

*big smiles*

beautiful family trish! very beautiful entry, thankx, barb~

chersypie said...

English, my love, not American.
Great entry.  He sure is one huge heart.
ANd his family too.  

krobbie67 said...

Awwww... so very sweet. And, you two even look a little alike. It must be the love.

luckyaugustgirl said...

So nice to see this reconnection with your family.... Beautiful photos like always..... :) Glad to see you happy!


indigosunmoon said...

What a precious family!  I'm so glad you got
to go and visit them!  My own brother called
me this morning from Iowa.  I sure do miss
him!  It's been almost a year since we've
seen one another!

ryanagi said...

Isn't that little brother (5 years younger) was a military man too. I am SO far from that life. I'm so glad your visit went well! I know you were stressing about it for a long while. :-) -B

sunflowerkat321 said...

I am SO touched....and SOOOO happy for you.  

judithheartsong said...


txsguinan said...

What a lovely family, Auntie freee!  Your brother's eyes are so like yours.

When I read this I was incredibly moved ~ our trips turned out to be similar in so many ways.  Although my brother and I have worldviews that are diametrically opposed (he's a Limbaugh lovin'-Bush republican-conservative christian ~ I'*NOT* :) we share a mutual love and respect ~ a bond that transcends all superficial differences.  

And isn't it amazing that those annoying little boys ~ the ones who were always tagging along or knocking things down & reading our diaries could turn out to be such wonderful fathers?  How could we look at them and not just...adore?  I think your note to Al says it all.  I hope he read it.  :)