So what can I say about my second brother Steve…other than he was the fun-loving, wild child that always seemed to stay one step ahead of Mom and Dad.  He was born to be on the water. Boats are his passion, and he never turns down the chance to have a party.

   While still far older than me, my relationship with Steve was nothing like the one I had with Gerry. Steve was my big brother so when he came home at 18 to tell Mom and Dad he was getting married to some girl who was only 16, I was crushed! At 8 I had no clue why he wanted to do something so stupid. All I knew was that it meant he was moving out and I was going to be the only one at home. I would be lying if I said I didn’t plot and plan with a child’s mind how to wreak havoc on this interloper. Everything from stapling her shoes to the floor or putting lemon juice in her orange juice crossed my mind.

   Really were you expecting something grander here? I was only 8 remember and those were pretty bad things to me…

    Worse yet they were getting married a few month after Gerry! Both brothers gone in a blink…what the heck?

   Anyway…they did marry and much to my surprise instead of moving out of our house, Steve joined the Navy and she moved in! Now I had this 16-year-old kid telling me what to do and I didn’t like it one bit. It didn’t take long until I realized that the situation was more than I thought. She was going to have a baby!

   OMG….I thought my brother was crazy. A wife and a kid? Now I was going to have to share a room??? no way!

    Steve was gone for what seemed like years but I still remember the night he came home. I was fast asleep in my bed and I heard a strange voice in the kitchen. I got up and peeked around the corner and there was this guy sitting at the kitchen counter with my Mom. He looked familiar but not like Steve. He was scruffy, rail thin not that Steve was ever fat and had kind of a sad look on his face. As I crept closer the voice was one I knew. When I walked into the kitchen I realize that this was my brother Steve. His face lit up and he smiled at me. I wanted to hug him but even in my childs world I could see that he had changed. The smile didn’t reach his eyes anymore and that kind of scared me.

    Over the next 30 years Steve would go to work for the Phone Company,  become a father to 2 sons of his own, divorce, remarry, divorce, and remarry for the third time. Our relationship would have ups and down and points of time were we didn’t speak for months on end. I always longed for the brother I once knew but he was lost somewhere on the river in Nam. To this day I still can’t say that the smile reaches his eyes, but he has gotten pretty good at fooling people into thinking it does.


Posted on March 30, 2010, in FAMILY TIES and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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