So, it’s not a far stretch to say there are points in my life when I would have been okay with him moving thousands of miles away.
I guess it probably started when we were about three and five. Coming home with stones in my pants, fat upper lips, and chains off of bicycles, I was pretty used to the normal 1980’s treatment of younger sisters by big brothers.
By middle school, our relationship transitioned into mostly just avoiding each other, although I would take any interaction I could get. Sometimes I think I would even egg him on to get in a fight with me, just so I could have a sliver of his attention, even if it was painful. So when I would be upstairs in my room, and I would hear him call, “Sej!! Seja! Can you come down here?”, I would drop what I was doing to see what he wanted. And then of course, him, laying on the sofa, watching TV, looking at me and saying, “…the remote is over there. Can you throw it to me?” And me launching the remote directly at his face.
That kind of summed up high school.
As we grew into college, our relationship started to shift, realizing the parts we’d played in each other’s lives up to that point. The kind of person that isn’t always present, but you know they are there when you need them, and they are the person you call for advice or to just sound something out.
So when David called telling me he’d met this girl, and she was pretty awesome, I knew something was different than the times before. And a few years later, they were married. And I gained a sister and a pretty amazing friend.
And then eventually nephews and a niece.
It’s easy to say my brother is one of my best friends and my strongest ally.
Like the time, when our entire family plus some friends, went to Mexico for spring break together. A guy started hitting on me. A guy with no shirt. And a huge tattoo. Dave stayed close by, talking with his friends, keeping his eye on me. I then saw his buddy Jake whisper something to him, then I clearly heard David yell, “Because my sister isn’t going out with a dude with a giant tattoo on his back that says ‘T-Bone.” That kind of brother.
So now, I feel differently. I don’t really want him moving thousands of miles away.
But tomorrow they are. Tomorrow, my brother and his beautiful wife and family are moving to London for three years.
My excitement for them and this experience they are about to have is what comforts me right now.
And mostly, my pride. I am so proud of this man, who has worked so hard, to go from an entry-level sales representative position to an executive within the same company, and now being transferred across the Atlantic to have the same impact there that he had here.
So now, I kind of feel like that five-year-old again, realizing what I felt even then, wanting his attention, was pride. Because I knew that even though he beat me to a pulp at times, like all big brothers do, he would never let anyone else. And his heart, bigger than his little-sister teasing, was always on my side.
We plan to go visit early next year, and we are so excited for that trip. But until then, our excitement is for them, for this adventure, for this experience of a lifetime.
We love you, David, Callie, Caden, Brody, and Hadley. Go show London what you’re made of.