My Brothers

This is one of those post you’ll just have to excuse me about.

I have two older brothers. I don’t see them much, as a matter of fact I don’t really see them at all. They are really half brothers — whatever that means. I guess what it means is that they are my Dad’s children, but not my Mom’s. I guess it also means its messy.

I’m on the verge of seeing my oldest brother, Donn, this weekend and I’m nervous about it. I’ve actually seen him before — once in the last 25 years or so. A couple of years ago when Educause was in Seattle I took a cab out to his house and spent an evening with he, his wife, and his daughter. It was a difficult evening on lots of levels, an evening that really left me stunned and emotionally drained when it came to an end. At the same time it was an amazing opportunity to meet someone who was at once so much like me and yet so different. The thing that stands out the most is how after he dropped me off in downtown Seattle I stood and cried on the street trying to put it into perspective.

I’ve been here before. My other brother, Slade, has had a similar effect on me over and over again. While Donn has been consistent in his distance, Slade had for many years floated in and out of my life. It hit a high of participation in college as we were relatively close by — he in Wheeling, WV and I in Morgantown, WV. I do remember a handful of really amazingly fun and emotional nights hanging out with him. Each sort of ending with the same promise that we’d be closer only to have us disappear from each others’ radar for months if not years at a time. I miss him, but have no idea how to get back … its been close to 10 years since I’ve spoken to him.

So on Sunday my brother, Donn, will be coming to see me right here at my own house. I feel the weight of the reunion and the pressure of making it right. Even with all the distance and lack of contact, he’s my big brother. I guess I hope for once in my life that it lasts a little longer than in the past. We shall see, but I think I know how it’ll go down.

Thanks for indulging … I needed to write.

4 thoughts on “My Brothers

  1. I have two older half brothers too. It’s definitely difficult. One lives on the other side of the planet and I might see once a year, with maybe a couple of emails in between. The other doesn’t live far away, but it’s harder to connect with him (although I see him more often)

    it’s strange, having flesh and blood without a connection.

  2. My sister is my half sister, and we’re lucky that we get along most of the time. The issues that we haven’t aren’t related to any family relationship things, they’re just because she and I both have some very strong opinions that don’t always line up. 😉

    What’s weird is that we get along really well in email and IM, but not in person that much; Probably because it’s much tougher to prepare yourself mentally.

    I’m betting that your brothers are also maybe a little nervous too, and don’t know what to expect either? Good luck.

  3. Cole, as much as you can, don’t worry about ‘outcomes’ here. Just relax and be you: open, engaging, the grace….striking.

  4. I’m the reverse (older daughter of a 1st marriage) with a half-sister. To top it off, my step-mother and I never “got” each other, and around tuition time, communication downgraded rapidly.

    Fortunately, my cousin on my father’s side invited me to her wedding years later so I was able to reconnect…even with my step mother. We still differ, but we can spend entire weekends together. Truly amazing.

    My sister and I were more wary, but I think we are gradually discovering that we are tied together by common Pyatt psychological traits.

    I don’t know if my sister and I will be “close”, but you never know. I didn’t think I would have the relationships I do now.

    So go forth and connect.

    And enjoy the people in your life now. I used to worry about losing connections, but I think I am realizing now that while loss is painful, you may find new connections you couldn’t imagine before. Things do circle around in odd ways (especially now that Facebook is here 😉

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