There I was, all my life observing my “little brother,” who, while only 15 months younger than I, came out of the womb with all the courage one could hope for, or at least it seemed that way to me.
How did he display that courage? Well, he was a rebel to the nth degree. I saw that kid “back talk” my parents, laugh at inappropriate times, tell them, “No,” and leave for that adventure called life without any warning, to them or to me. “Where is Chuck?” someone would ask, and none of us would know. Where was Chuck? Out in the world, traveling cross country on his motorcycle, or in that beat up car that burned at least a quart of oil a day.
Interestingly, my brother became a man with a life much like all of our lives – he married, had children, divorced and remarried. But there is one thing I can say about that kid – he never lost that rebellious nature! Up until the very last breath! He went out fighting tooth and nail!
As I traveled my path, a path that paralleled him, mine was the path of least resistance, which in my world meant compliance. I first judged him harshly – what did I know? Only that my parents judged him harshly. However, as I grew in the world, as he continued to challenge the status quo, I saw a man that I admired, and sometimes felt a weak pang of jealousy! Wouldn’t I love to challenge authority? Tell others my true thoughts? Live life like it was the last day I had? Live life like there were no tomorrows? You bet!
As I mourn the loss of my brother, with tears in my eyes, a bit of him lives on in me. Where I step outside of myself, and see that I am on the same path as every other middle-aged woman, I think of Chuck; I get a little glint in my eye, and I honor the rebel he was by rebelling!