Pondering brotherly love on the longest day
It’s Summer Solstice time. The longest daylight day of the year. And I know you’re probably out frantically buying your last minute Solstice gifts, the Solstice tree, and all your yummy Solstice treats. But relax. Because it’s the longest day. So, you’ll have plenty of time to pause and read my story of brotherly love that faded away. Sounds fun, right?
Who wants to hear about fading brotherly love on this first day of summer?
Probably nobody. So, I’ll write this to get it out of my head. And I’ll move on as though it never happened. Sound good? Great.
It all started several decades ago. My parents split up when I was only about 4 and my brother was only about 2 1/2. And they both remarried and eventually moved two large states apart. Dad moved to Texas. And Mom moved to Kansas. And when my brother and I were old enough, we’d be put on the train, in Houston (at the end of each school year) and make the 18 hour ride to Kansas City. There we’d meet Mom and stay in Kansas for the summer. Then, she’d put us on the train, around Labor Day, and we’d return to Texas.
So, the only person I saw year round was my “little brother.”
And I remember each time a parent would put us on the train, there’d be tears and heartache. And they’d tell me to “watch out for your brother.” Which wasn’t easy. Because he could be quite the little mischief maker. But I’d do my best. (sort of, I was a kid, too) And somehow we always made it to our destination safely.
As the years passed, and as my “little brother” and I became teenagers, the train trips became routine and fun. I still remember the real silver utensils, and the white, cotton tablecloths in the dining car. It seemed like dinner was usually somewhere around Oklahoma City. And a porter would come through each car, ring a dinner bell and say, in a deep voice, “Dinner is served.”
Then, after my junior year in high school, my Dad agreed to let me drive us to Kansas. In the first car I bought with the money I made as a grocery sacker/carry out guy. My $265 1965 Plymouth Fury. Engine was 363 cubic inches of raw horsepower. And I later found out it had been a cop car for a while. That was after I found some bullets behind the glove compartment.
I can remember Dad took me to the side and said,
“Watch out for your brother. Drive the speed limit. And check your oil every time you fill up.”
There it was even then. “Watch out for your brother.”
Then, in a flash, school years came to an end. And my “little brother” and I were out on our own. And I recall, for a brief time, we lived in the same apartment complex, in Houston. Our apartments were in separate buildings. But not far apart. And one day I went to his place for one reason or another, and we got into a heated discussion about something. Don’t even remember what it was. But I remember something (in brotherly love) led to me saying, “Hey, I’m just trying to watch out for my little brother.”
And he yelled back, “I’m not your little brother.”
So, I had to adjust my thinking. And I never called him that again.
But there were plenty of times when I still tried to “watch out” for him. And every single one of those times turned into something awful. Without fail.
He and I even started out our full time professional musician careers together. We were a popular duo in the Houston area for a couple of years. But even that went sour, due to an increasingly apparent difference in our worldviews.
Eventually, after moving to different areas, my marriage, and his marriages, I discovered my “little brother” was some sort of unitarian universalist metaphysical “new thought” guy. Just about as far away from Christianity as you can get. And I also discovered what disdain he had for my Christian faith and Christians in general. Even though he preached tolerance and diversity.
Our brotherly relationship decayed completely. To the point of one evening, in my house, we were “debating” some issues. And the discussion reached a boiling point. My “little brother” dropped some F bombs against Jesus and God. And I told him he’d have to leave the next day and not darken my door again.
Ideas and words have meaning and consequences.
From that moment on, my “little brother” disowned all his family. I guess he figured, if he ever visited me, he’d have to darken my door. So, his interpretation of what I said was probably more like, “I never want to see you again.”
To this day he won’t let even his own Mom know where he is or his phone number. And the last email conversation I had with him was over two years ago, when he told me he’s afraid of me. Because I had tried, three times, to see him during some trips to Florida. And each time he “couldn’t make it” for one reason or another.
Why did I share all this? Because today is his birthday. And I’m almost certain he’s still playing the victim. He’s most likely convinced himself his brothers, sister, and mother only want to brainwash him with Christianity. Because we’re unenlightened fools who believe there IS a God, we’re not God, and that eternal life is only provided through Jesus.
And we just won’t shut up and let him go to hell peacefully. (Of course, he believes everything is part of the “god force”, so there’s no hell) So, we’re just unfit for contact.
The brotherly love I always felt for him never left. But I know he did. And he’s apparently happy with his choice to disown his family. And nothing I can say to him will ever change his mind. So, there’s a good chance I’ll never see him again. Not now. Not through eternity.
And he’ll never know how sorry I am that my “little brother” will exist forever in solitary solitude.
Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.
And lies can be so enticing.
Life, here and now, isn’t all there is,
So know what you’re sacrificing.
Grab some Merch
Or how about some music for kids