BLOG SERIES: MY JOURNEY
My big brother (brother-T), as I said before, is 16 months older than me. He is a big brother in every sense of the word. With three sisters under him, he had to quickly take on the role of protector over his little sisters. No one was going to ever hurt his little sisters, if he had anything to do with it. To this day, I can always call on my big brother and know that he would always be there for me.
Brother-T was very outgoing growing up. He never met a stranger. And he was never intimidated by anyone. He could stand up and speak to anyone, unlike me, who was always cautious around people.
It’s always amazing to me how two people could grow up in the same house, under the same circumstances, and yet be completely different, like night and day. But that’s how brother-T and I are: like night and day.
In school, brother-T and I hung out in completely different circles. I was more of a loner with a few friends sprinkled here and there. Brother-T usually hung out with a group of friends who could at times be a little rowdy and mischievous. They really were just trying to have fun, while trying to navigate through this thing called life at the same time.
What young person isn’t trying to find themselves? Some go about it in your normal, teenager-y ways (whatever “normal” means), and others go about it in much more destructive ways, adding unnecessary grief to themselves and their families.
While I was a bookworm and a very studious student, brother-T never seemed to care much for school. School seemed to be a place where he could hang out with his friends and have a good time. He and his friends would often skip school, preferring instead to roam the neighborhood in search of fun and adventure.
Brother-T always seemed to have a lot of friends. He would often bring his friends home and introduce them to his family. “This is my friend…so and so.” Some of these friends we never saw again, but most of these friends are still around today and have become his life-long friends.
When brother-T would bring some of the questionable “friends” home, I would often wonder if he really knew this person to be calling him a friend. How well do you know this person? When did you meet him?
I think I used the word “friend” a little more cautiously than brother-T did. You had to earn your way into becoming my friend. But brother-T called everyone a friend. We’re just different like that.
Although brother-T never really cared much for school, he really was a good student, and he was always good with his hands, and figuring things out.
My dad, papa-C would take brother-T under his wings and show him how to do a lot of things, such as, repairing cars, and construction work (which was papa-C’s occupation).
Brother-T could take anything apart and put it back together again. He was always inquisitive.
Papa-C would often take brother-T hunting and fishing. My younger sisters (younger sister #1 and younger sister #2) and I were never really included in any of this. I guess this was their bonding time.
Brother-T was also very comfortable around guns. My dad, being a hunter, would have various guns around the house. My sisters and I never touched any of them, although we always knew where they were. But brother-T was quite comfortable handling them. He always seemed to be very responsible around guns, which was a plus.
Because my younger sisters were so much younger than me (eight and twelve years younger), we were worlds apart in age.
Younger sister #1 and younger sister #2 were much closer to each other because they were closer in age, and because they shared a room. I just always saw them as my younger sisters.
Younger sister #1 was always easy-going and light-hearted.
Younger sister #2, being the baby of the family, was, as you might imagine, spoiled. She always had papa-C wrapped around her finger. He doted on all of his children, but papa-C doted on younger sister #2 the most.
Younger sister #2 was the one who could get papa-C out of bed in the middle of the night to fix her a snack. “Daddy, I’m hungry.” “Daddy, I want something to drink.”
…By the way, in our home daddy is pronounced ‘deddy’ not ‘daddy.’…
…Papa-C would always get up in the middle of the night and fix her a snack. It’s funny how younger sister #2 claims to not remember any of this today. But I remember. We all remember. Yep, younger sister #2 was the spoiled one.
I remember my dad being very protective, especially of his girls. He always warned us to be cautious and aware of our surroundings.
Papa-C would always say things like, “women have no business walking the streets alone.” To prove his point, he would sometimes show us articles in the newspaper where some woman was walking the streets at night, alone, and was attacked. He always wanted us to be safe, cautious, and wise.
Papa-C was the type of father that most girls today need. Although he wasn’t very affectionate, he loved his daughters and planted good seeds in our heads, encouraging us to be our best.
Papa-C would always say, “my daughters are going to be doctors and lawyers.” Well, none of us became a doctor or a lawyer, but we did become respectable women who could hold our heads up high. Not out of pride, but because we were raised to believe we were special and deserved to be treated as such.
We are not perfect, and never will be, but through it all, at the end of the day, we were all blessed to have had the family we had.
Families are a blessing from God. If you were not fortunate to have been in a loving and supportive family, you can break the cycle and start fresh with your own family.
You can create, with your kids, the family you never had, or the family you always desired to have. It’s never too late.
I’m truly thankful for my family.