Sunday, November 16, 2008

thinking of you

She brought you home, swaddled against the biting cold, and laid you in the middle of the double bed. You slept there, wrapped up like the most unassuming gift - my brother. I felt expanded and light with sheer happiness; I felt as if I should hold my breath in awe. I slipped in every few minutes to watch your tiny chest rise and fall, to be sure you were alive and well.

Your head was dusted with the faintest blond fuzz. You smelt like warmth and comfort. I slipped my index finger into your curled-up hand, and you gripped on tightly. In my eight-year-old innocence, I believed this reflex hold meant you wanted me there. I stayed a long time, hunched over the bed awkwardly. I began right then to understand unconditional love; the ferocious and protective love I would have for you then and have to this day.

You have grown and gone now, far from here. You don't need my protection or care; you have a family yourself. You are no longer the chubby blond baby; you have grown beyond the shyly smiling, amiable small boy; you are stronger and more confident than the laughing, gangly teen. You are an adoring husband, a besotted father, and a military man who has been promoted quickly through the ranks. People like you; they are drawn to your understated leadership, your quiet assertion and wisdom. You are a good man.

Soon you will head into a volatile battle zone for several months. I know you are keen to play a part and to apply your years of training, and I am proud of you for your skill and courage. But fear clots in my throat and my stomach aches. And when I touch the soft blond head of my son as he sleeps, I think of you, my faraway brother, and my cheeks are wet.

Stay safe, be careful. Tell your enemies to beware your big sister.

Know that the delight I felt when first we met is undiminished.

13 comments:

meggie said...

What a beautiful post Jelly.
I hope he stays safe.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Jeez Jelly, you can sure touch the chord to make me cry. What a beautiful post for your brother. I, too, hope he remains safe during the coming months.

I have four brothers and during my trip, I actually was given a photo of the four of them together. It's now in pride of place on my wall unit.

All the very best of wishes for your brother.

Heidi said...

Prayers are being said here in Iowa for your brother and his safety. Brave times.... for both of you.

TUFFENUF said...

Good luck to your brother and I hope he stays safe. He is lucky to have a sister like you, Jelly. I have missed your posting. I still check your blog and know that you will post when you have something to say. I feel like we are "old blog friends". I always think- how's Jelly on the other side of the world where it is already tomorrow!

fifi said...

That is so lovely.
I used to think that finger-clutch was really significant too.
Sadly, I was much littler when my brother arrived,and he was just a noisy rival. Small and loud.....


best of luck to him.

Stomper Girl said...

That is so beautifully and lovingly expressed. I hope he stays safe too.

shellyC said...

I hope he reads your blog too. Beautiful Jelly!

Motherkitty said...

How lucky is your younger brother, to have such a loving, caring sister on his side. I wish him safe passage while on his quest for freedom and glory, and protecting those who would be unsafe in this dangerous world. Our hearts are with you during this trying time and we hope your brother comes back safely to those who love him fiercely.

Susan said...

Surely he will stay safe now, lest the rath of his big sister be unleashed. We will be thinking of him (and you) as he goes off to fight.

Remiman said...

Jellyhead,
It's a rare thing for tears to come to my eyes. You make rare things happen. I ask God; mine, yours and theirs to watch over him and guide him.
rel

Dr Andrew Brown said...

Amen to that.

Alipurr said...

ok, now you've made me cry. You put it into words so beautifully, the love you have for your brother, your pride and fears for him. I pray for his safety. Take care, have a great Thanksgiving....

Kerri said...

You manage to find such beautiful words and phrases to impart your feelings, dear Jelly.
I hope and pray your brother stays safe. He sounds like a wonderful young man..father, husband, brother, son.
God bless him.