Conversations with My Brother

My oldest brother called me the other night.

it isn’t out of the ordinary for us not to talk for weeks or months at a time. I have the same sort of relationship with one of my sisters. Months will go by and one of us will call or text and it’ll feel like we just talked the day or two days before. No time lost whatsoever.

But the phone call I received the other night wasn’t entirely one of those conversations. My brother is going through some thangs. Of course these unexpected life obstacles aren’t anything my brother and sister in law have not gone through before. There have been lays off. Odd jobs. Bills needing to be paid. My brother acting like a complete asshole cuz apparently that family temper is in ALL of us.

My brother is a fighter. My sister is his ride or fucking die. And yet my brother still feels an enormous void in his heart. He misses his younger siblings. He misses us to the very core of his soul. He loves us more than he can even explain. I can’t explain enough how much my brother yearns for family. He yearns to have his daughters have a relationship with their auntie and uncles. He yearns to be able to call our little brothers and shoot the shit. He yearns to be able to knock me around like most asinine asshole older brothers do. He wants to be included in our lives. And while that’s great and all, we both know that at the end of the day it might just be me and him.

See my younger brothers, as much as I love them too, don’t always acknowledge they have older siblings. Sigh it isn’t anything I can explain or comprehend the who what when why ano how of where the possibility of having a solid sibling relationship even went. But hearing my oldest brother cry like a baby about needing that relationship and that bond really hurt. Not because he made me feel less than important on the sibling totem pole but because I’ve felt that same sentiment all my life.

I’ve mentioned before that my younger siblings grew up differently than my oldest brother and I. It’s not their fault. Nor is it the fault of their mom. It just happened that way. My step mom is a talented and accomplished singer. She fought hard for her career and to be where she is now in life. I get that wholeheartedly and I hope to God she continues to have a rewarding career and life.

But there’s always a damn but as often as my younger brothers talked to my oldest brother while they were growing up…. As much as they spent time together… As little time as it takes the guys to get to each other’s house today… They don’t reach out to the oldest and I. And that pains my oldest brother to no utter end. It pains him to be and feel “alone.” It pains him to be going through life’s trials and tribulations without them or even me.

I wish I could make my younger brothers understand how my older brother and I feel. I wish so many things for my brothers and I that I cannot make come true because I’ve come to grips with the fact that I can’t make my brothers get along with each other or with me. I can’t force my younger brothers to be our brothers in actuality and not in name. I just can’t. I can hope and pray that one day they’ll want us around but until that day comes if it E V E R fucking comes all I really have is hope and all my oldest brother has is me which in my opinion is the best option he got.

Thanks for reading…

the southern yankee 

Far Away From “Home”

It’s been weighing heavy on my heart for some time now.

I try to remember what her voice and laugh sound like. I feverishly ruffle through my Photobucket and the pictures she left me before she died just to retrieve a memory I might have filed away for safe keeping. Her birthday was a few weeks ago and I’ve been irritable ever since. What gets me even more is that her niece, who a couple of my cousins called Aunt Cynthia, recently passed away which was another painful blow to my emotional heart.

Lemme explain.

I’m one of eight grandchildren. My paternal grandmother was the glue that kept the family somewhat together. I say somewhat because not all the grandchildren were close to her. My oldest brother doesn’t really “recognize” her as his grandmother. We see differently when it comes to our paternal grandparents. He had Red (our grandfather) and I had Granny. I never really knew Red even though my initials are his initials as well. Granny and her second husband, Emmitt, were my number #1 fans. They were the parents I wished my own to be. They, along with my maternal grandfather, were my everything and I dearly miss the relationship I had with them; which makes me yearn for some sort of relationship with my brothers and cousins.

I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am the only grandchild who grew up in Texas. I’ve missed everything! Graduations. Births. Coming of age parties. Weddings. Funerals. EVERYTHING! Yes I could travel back and forth to California for all of those things but who has that kind of money. We ain’t the Kardashians or the Trumps that can make it rain like a damn hurricane. so did not mean for that to rhyme! If we could, I certainly wouldn’t be sitting where I am now.

I’m not complaining by any means about my current state of living because I’m grateful as all get out but I do want more. I do want to be able to mini reunions between the cousins or spend the holidays with them. It would just be nice to know my family. I just don’t know how to make that happen or even which one of the other seven grandchildren to go to first. Sigh perhaps one of them will read this.

Thanks for reading…

 

The Southern Yankee

Fathead and Red

I talked to my oldest brother today. Even though he’s a pain in my left butt cheek, I love being able to talk to him about random shit.

It isn’t awkward.

It isn’t forced.

It’s just a pair of siblings talking on the phone as if we talk to each other everyday which we do not. He’s in Cali. And I’m in Texas. We’ve been separated all our lives and have only seen each other once. ONCE!! Yet my brother and I have a great relationship. We are a normal sibling pair but at the same time, we are not.

We share a last name but not the same mama. I can only imagine the number of headaches our moms would have had if we grew up together. Of course, had my mother stayed in California, that probably could’ve been possible but she did not.

Don’t tell him this but I really love my brother. I’m so incredibly grateful his stubborn fat head is in my life. He annoys the fuck outta me. And he’s bossy as all hell. Lawd have murcy and he’s a whiny you gotsta respect my authoritah cuz I’m the oldest asshole. He tortures me with talk of his chef quality dishes. He’ll tell you I do it more but his opinion don’t matter right now!!

But I love my brother immensely! I don’t ever want to know what I’d do without him or his wife or his three gawhgeous daughters. Please don’t tell him I’m talking nice about him cuz on the real, he’d never let me hear the end of it. Fucker!

Perhaps one day, I’ll get to see him again. And smack upside the head. And talk shit about and laugh at him with my sister in law. Hahaha wouldn’t that be a good time for ME?! Keep your fingers crossed it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Thanks for reading….

 

The Southern Yankee 

Photo 101 Day 1: Home… Home on the Range…

I’ve learned over the years, that home is what you make of it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical location where you live and/or sleep. It doesn’t have to be with your parents or your spouse or even your children, if you’re blessed enough to have them.

Home, for me, is with the people you see in the pictures above. Each photograph was taken with different cameras and/or smartphones. Only a handful were actually taken by me, which would have been more than likely taken on my old Windows phone, iPhone 4s or iPhone 5s (current point and shoot)

Each individual person represents a different “side” of my personality. All of them together represent my heart. These are the people I live for the most. They keep me grounded and sane. They got my back and I have theirs.

Thank for reading…

 

The Southern Yankee

Cutting the Umbilical Cord (sorta)

My brothers and I grew up separately; they lived in Southern California while I lived in Texas with my mother and her family. Four kids three mamas one sperm donor. To be fair, one of my brothers, RR, is my step brother. He escaped the emotional roller coaster that is Too Too Bing. But then again perhaps he didn’t escape because he was old enough to understand what was going on between he and my baby brother’s mother and Too Too.

It’s unfortunate enough as it is to be a product of a divorced couple. But when there are other mamas and kids involved it makes it harder. The explanations between why one parent isn’t around as much can get rather convoluted and crass. The amount of sugar coating is ridiculous and after a while, the level of respect for either parent goes completely out the window. At least it did for me.

At this point in our lives, my brothers and I all share the same love hate relationship for our mothers’ sperm donor. We love the bastard because he’s half the reason we even here. We can’t stand him because he was absent for most of our lives. Well lemme rephrase that… He was absent for the majority of my life but saw the boys a bit more often. Up until maybe a few and I use the term few loosely cuz I’m not certain years ago, my baby brother was on the bandwagon to get me to be on team “maybe we should give the old man a chance.”

It’s obvious it didn’t work because I never really gave him a chance. My father figure passed away when I was twelve. By the time I actually met Too Too Bing, I was already over the notion of being his daughter and he being something more than just my mother’s sperm donor. Harsh as it may sound, he’s just my mama’s baby daddy. Hell all our mamas’ baby daddy. Nothing more and certainly can’t get any less than that.

Imagine my surprise when my oldest brother told me that Too Too Bing called him out of the blue, while he was at work, and preceded to curse him the fuck out. Now when Too Too is on that bullshit which could be anything really he’s even dumber than he is sober. He said some thangs that pissed my brother smooth the fuck off. And of course my brother being MY brother, he said some thangs that I know hurt him to the very core of his being because I know my brother genuinely wants us all to be a “family.”

It’s understandable actually. My oldest brother and I grew up sorta the same way. Single mom and very low income. I don’t think we ever had to want for anything because our moms had families that loved us immensely. We also had grandfathers who treated us like we were their own. So we were lucky in that regard. But at the same time, that doesn’t make up for not having our actual biological father in our lives. That’s normal right?!

By the end of the conversation, my brother’s temper level was at a damn 150 when he needed to be at a 19. How he managed to stay at work is beyond me because I’m pretty sure I woulda needed a drank or a doobie I don’t smoke but hearing about the conversation certainly warranted something that strong right then and there. Wouldn’t even thank twice yo!

What hurt me was Too Too telling my brother to basically take a hike outta his life. My mouth dropped to the damn flo! I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know how to respond. Again, he was on that bullshit and I’m pretty sure he had no clue what the fuck he was saying but still. Too Too actually told my brother you ain’t gotta call or communicate with me ever again. Like he was getting rid of the trash in his life. Like he could even afford to because my brother was the only one of his fucking children that actually gave two fucks about his old ass. Yet he doesn’t want to hear from him anymore.

But ok old man. You’re 62 fucking years old and you’re still acting like a damn child. Okay. No problem. I didn’t give a shit about you before but I won’t even thank twice about you from now on.

So why am I worried shitless about him? Maybe it’s because I have his initials. Or because he’s half the reason why my brothers and I are on this earth. Perhaps my Granny’s spirit won’t let me be eternally mad at him even though I want to be. I hate him for all he’s never been to my brothers and I but I love the bastard because he’s my biological parent. mutha fucking emotions are getting the best of me now

Whatever the reason may be, it rocks the very core of my soul. I was okay with only one of us having contact with he old fucker because I at least knew by way of my brother he was okay. At least Too Too had one of his kids in his corner. But now the umbilical cord has been severed and burned to bits for probably forever. My brother said he deleted Too Too’s phone number and unfriended him on Facebook.

So that’s it. My brothers and I may never have the relationship we deserve with the man who helped bring us into the world and it’ll be his loss not ours.

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee