Sunday, March 7, 2010
This Post is dedicated to my Brother Bruce. Most of you know that I had a brother and that his name was Bruce. That's probably about all that you know. Genetically, I've been programmed and wired to have a very poor memory. I thought and thought and try as I might I can't work up any really strong memories, mostly just impressions of our lives growing up. I do remember that as children we played and fought like all brothers and sisters do. Some impressions came, but they were just snippets that had no real meaning or importance. My brother was protective of me growing up and would fight anyone who would tease me. I do remember that. My strongest memories are when we were teenagers. In our early teens Bruce got the brunt of the abuse that went on in our house. Most of the time we both just stayed clear of our parents. Neither of us had very many friends, if any, because we really couldn't go any where and we didn't want to invite anyone home because that would be very risky. So we were both kind of loners. My brother had one friend. He was a mexican and he was kind of wild but my brother wasn't. Bruce and I never really talked to each other about what was going on in our home. I think, for me, I didn't want to know what Bruce was feeling or thinking. It would be too hard to know, I don't really know why, but I know I couldn't bear to talk about it, not even with Bruce. At 17, Bruce came home and told my parents that he wanted to join the Navy but that he needed their permission since he was only 17. I don't remember that they even hesitated. They signed and he was gone. He wrote to me steadily and when he came home, we tried to live together in an apartment. We didn't fight, but by that time we were so different and knew that it wouldn't work out. However, I do want to say here that we cared very much about each other and we often got together. Bruce became a real hippy. I wish I had a picture of him then. He grew his hair really long, longer than I was ever able to grow mine. Past his shoulders. Sometimes we would get together and go out to dinner and I would be kind of embarrassed at how he looked, but I loved him so I just ignored the stares. He was small and wirery and strong. Over time, we saw each other less and less. When I moved to California and had so many kids and so much going on in my life it became difficult to keep in touch. Since it was mostly me that did the keeping in touch, I hardly ever heard from him. To my children, let this be a message for you to never stop calling each other and don't let life keep you from staying close to your siblings. I feel so very sad right now that I did not have a chance, or better said, did not take the chance to keep Bruce in my life. He died not knowing about me and my family and I not knowing about him and his experiences. I have been feeling very sad about that. I included these pictures so you could see what he looked like. They are the only pictures I have. How sad is that.