March 15, 2011


I seem to remember my mother telling me that my brother was my birthday present. It didn't matter I hadn't asked for him (that I recall anyway), or that he was born in March and my birthday is in August. Either way, he butted into my only-child life when I was 4 1/2.

We are typical, I guess, of most siblings. My friends and I dressed him up like a girl; we tossed him out of porch swings; I dropped him headfirst off picnic tables. He drove me nuts begging to hang out with me and my friends or blackmailing me for rides when I got a car. I professed to our parents multiple times that a 4 1/2 year age gap was just really shitty. For better or worse, though, he was my sibling and the only one at that.

Watching my own children grow reminds me of that bond siblings have.  I can clearly see in my mind's memory the day Girlo Two walked her younger brother into Pre-K when she was only in second grade.  Her cute little bob haircut, blue dress and cowboy boots holding tightly to his hand as he struggled to walk.  He looking up to her for all the inside track on how school worked.  I watch her protect him from the schoolyard bullies who don't see my witty, brilliant son, but focus on the braces on his legs.  I hear him asking her to read a story at night instead of mom because she "cuddles up to him better" than I do.  It reminds me of what I share with my own brother.

Don't get me wrong...there are times I'd like to kick the living shit outta him.  He can make me madder than anyone on this Earth, save one.  He doesn't listen to me.  He does stupid stuff. He pushes my buttons intentionally to piss me off.  He doesn't apologize for doing stupid stuff.  When all is said and done, I'd still give him the beating heart from my chest.

As I write (type?) this, he is sitting on the other side of the world in the middle of the chaos in Japan.   As I sat earlier today reading a message from him after the latest aftershock (for the record, 6.1 is a damn earthquake ~ not an aftershock, geological people), I broke. The only person on Earth with whom I share this bond is in the middle of a disaster, and I can do nothing. I cried like I haven't cried in many years.  I never cried when he was in Iraq; I was prepared for anything and everything then. Now I wait impatiently for every message, and I am prepared for nothing. 

My parents never told me to look out for him, but I always have.  We are the only two people alive who know what it's like to be the children of our parents (and they are amazing ones to share).  I can't look out for him now.  I pray my prayers and hope, but that is all I can do.  And, really, that just sucks. I need him home so I can make him haul my crap around in his truck, and I need him home so he can cheer on Girlo Two at her soccer games, and I need him home so I can pick on him and tell him what to do.  I need him home so I know he's safe, and I need him home so I can cherish every single moment. Until then, Bratsy....
Blurry photo, but it's us.  Pacific Ocean 2003


  1. OH Tallye....I know exactly how you feel... you made me cry reading every word, I miss my brothers so much, I'm praying for your brother to come home soon, safe and sound.....Love your blog.

  2. Girlo,
    Just for the record, amazing parents are the by-product of amazing children. In 5 short days Mom and I will celebrate 41 years of life together and what an amazing ride it has been! God speaks to us in small voices, Tallye, Todd and now Gracie, Jacob, Catie and Lincoln if we will be still and listen. As I dropped Catie at day care yesterday I looked in on Lincoln sleeping peacefully in his swing and the same peace came over me as when Todd was in Iraq and God told me he would be safe. I knew in spite of Bratsy saying he wasn't volunteering for rescue missions, when push came to shove, he'd be one of the first to raise his hand - and so he did. Whether it's our Girlo balancing family, work and just life or Bratsy doing what Marines do, we are blessed to have two very amazing children allowing us to be amazing parents.

  3. Tallye, my younger sister and I are 10 1/2 years apart. When my parents informed my brother and I that my mother was pregnant I ran to my room, hid under the desk and cried. I had clearly told them I did not want a younger brother or sister when they asked a few months prior to this announcement. That being said I couldn't imagine life without my sister although twice I've received a call saying she'd been involved in a serious accident. I hope my daughters grow up to have a close relationship in spite of them being so close in age. At this stage they mostly fight. I hope your brother makes it home safe and sound for you to pester and love. Mo

  4. Beautifully written, Tallye! I think someone has it right- you are a writer.
    I am so proud of your USMC brother. It's who he is, and it's what he does. He sacrificed his time and possibly delayed his departure from Japan, but it's such a good and caring thing to do. Those poor people have suffered mightily. How good to know that there are still some young people who will volunteer to serve their country by helping others. I just know when he comes home, he will have lots of stories to tell.
    I have read your other stories, and I find your "take" on everything hysterical and interesting. I look forward to more- particularly your mom's penchant and passion for remodeling. That should be a hoot!
    Good luck and happy blogging! (Did I say that? I never have used the word 'blog' before!)