25 July 2011

Meeting My Brother

Today I saw Mom, Dad and Mike.  They were all understandably tired:  The last couple of days have been busy for them and the weather had been oppressive.  Mom said that she doesn't think she can make any more trips from Florida to New York/New Jersey, mainly because of her age and the health problems that have come with it.  Dad feels the same way, but I think he was dreading the drive back to Florida even more than any prospective future trips.  That, too, is understandable.

Later this year, Mike will have one of those big round-number birthdays.  Given that, he was looking rather good, I thought, and I told him as much.  I think that might have been more of a surprise, for him, than anything else that transpired. It wasn't the sort of thing I would say to him when I was still living as Nick.  I guess it's not the sort of thing male siblings normally say to each other.

Now I realize that I may never have complimented him on anything until today.  Actually, I'm pretty sure that I never complimented him.  I mean, what kind of an older brother would I have been if I did?  ;-)  As if I were ever a model of siblinghood! (Does such a thing exist?)

Over lunch, I sat across from Mike, with Mom and Dad at our sides.  My conversation with Mike was, at first, almost an interview:  He asked about my work, when my summer class was ending, and when the new semester starts. Then we talked about my upcoming trip, his plans and about my nephew. I was glad, really, that the conversation went the way it did:  I felt, in a way, reassured because it's the sort of conversation we might have had even if I hadn't undergone my transition.   It was more or less what I could have expected under any set of circumstances that included not seeing him for about fifteen years.  

As we parted, I said, "Let's not let another fifteen years pass."

"Don't worry.  We won't.  I'll probably be coming this way more often now that Matt is grown."

I hope he's right.  Even though we weren't close--in part because of our difference in age and in part because of our differences in temperament and interests--I don't feel like I want to "make up for lost time."  Really, it's not possible to do that.  I would simply like to get to know him.


Miss Kitty said...

(((HUGS))) to you and your family. Thank you, Justine, for writing so honestly and unflinchingly about your loved ones.

Justine Valinotti said...

Thank you, Miss Kitty. I feel that in some way, I have to write as I do about my loved ones if I am going to be honest about, and with, myself.