Here is a picture of my big brother taken standing on the bumper of a 1950 Buick I think. He was probably seven years old at the time. That would have made me about four. My big brother did the usual things that big brothers do. He often teased me and sometimes mistreated me but that was what was expected of big brothers. I think he was about twelve or so when my mother took him and abandoned my father, me and my younger brother to move to Florida and soon marry a man of much more wealth than Dad. I didn’t really understand the reasons for this abandonment at the time; I’m still not sure I really do today. All I really knew was that I no longer had a big brother in my life.
This event made me the big brother and that is quite different than being the middle kid in the family. After that Dad always expected more from me than my little brother as I was older. Being nine or ten I took this new role somewhat seriously. Especially since Dad also took on a new role of single parent. I ended up doing much of the cooking and household chores. My little brother just didn’t seem interested in helping with that or much of anything else.
I missed my big brother in the ensuing years. I was counting on him to teach me how to play ball and that sort of thing. I was always terribly shy around girls where my big brother seemed to be much more outgoing. I was counting on him to help me with that problem. It was years before I was able to conquer it by myself.
As adults we have re-established a somewhat limited relationship but that does not take away the pains of missing him as I was growing up. I’m sure he could have taught me some valuable life lessons.
Here is another picture of him when he was in the Navy. I wasn’t in his life at the time and it would be many years after the picture before I re-established any level of acquaintance. I found this picute among the discarded items my mother was throwing out. As you can see from the numbers on the scale he was pretty much a runt like I was but he was my big brother. I missed growing up with him and still miss him in some degree today.
And the journey goes on….