In the winter of 1995, I was 12 years old. I had gone with my grandmother to visit my aunt so that I could see my best friend who had moved to Nashville. Midway through our week-long trip, I somehow found out my dad was living in Nashville at the time. I won’t go into all of that because I honestly don’t remember much of it but I do know that was the last time I saw his children — my little brother and my little sister.
On Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago, I sent a text to my stepmom and she called me. I spoke to my dad for a few minutes and then they woke up my little brother so I could chat with him. They had no idea we’ve been living in Atlanta for the last 18 months and I found out my brother (Chris) would be passing through here on a drive from Colorado to Florida. I was ecstatic!! He planned on stopping through here so that we could see one another…
He was 8 years old the last time I saw him. I don’t remember much about it but I know it was awkward. Being around kids that you don’t know and knowing that they are your siblings sort of makes you want to poke them to see if they’ll move… to see if they’re really *real* lol It was quite a nerve wracking week-long build up to when he finally pulled into the driveway. I was SO nervous. I mean, I had this image of the little scrawny kid that had been etched in my brain from years past coupled with all the more recent photos I’d seen online. The idea of him for me fell somewhere in between. I think in many ways, no matter how our relationship develops from this point forward or how many times we see each other in the future, he’ll always be my baby brother because of how long that image of an 8-year-old boy sat in my mind without anything solid to update it.
Even so, I knew that my “baby” brother would pull up to my house as a 25 year old man and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around what I would say. How would it feel to see him standing right there in front of me? To hug him? What would we talk about?
I spent at least 4 hours scrubbing everything in my house… I couldn’t sit still. I was freaking out. There were a million things I wanted to say to him and a million more I wanted to ask. Would he think I was nuts? What if this goes badly? What if, what if, what if???
I’ve watched him online over the years and fell in love with my little kid brother through cyber space, noting his outgoing and fun-loving personality, his amazing musical talent, and his mind blowingly unique vocal style. I’ve always wished things had been different… that we’d grown up together. I’ve always had pangs of envy and resentment as I wondered what their lives were like (him and my little sister) with both of their parents in comparison to how my life had been with only one.
He called me and said, “I think I’m outside…” and my heart started racing. According to my memory we’ve only ever seen one another twice in our entire lives and the last time was over 17 years ago. Nearly two decades. I don’t even know my brother, but the moment he walked through the door, there was an instant bend in time and it’s like that 17 year loop didn’t even exist and we just began talking about EVERYTHING. He walked in, plopped down on the couch, and said, “Oh my gosh, there are a million things I want to ask you!” We talked… and talked… and talked. Before we knew it, it was 6am and the sun was starting to come up!
We kept saying it was time to go to sleep but he kept telling me all about everything I’d always wondered about and I kept just wanting to look at him LOL We clicked immediately and by the time it was time for him to go, I knew that this time, there wouldn’t be another another 17 years that would pass before I saw him again. It’s strange how much time we lost out on one another yet how easily we connected and how close that connection is, despite us being relatively disconnected for all this time.
I can’t say how grateful I am that he came. Since the moment he pulled away from my house, I’ve been wanting him to come back. Family is and always has been very important to me and he’s very much the same way. He’s got such a deep spirit and there are so many things we have in common that are almost uncanny and definitely impossible to explain or even specifically pinpoint. I’m not making much sense, am I? lol That’s okay — none of this really makes much sense to me either. I just know how I feel and there’s an immense sense of relief. I was SO nervous to “meet” my little brother, but after a day I never wanted him to go away again!
He got to do Family Movie Night with us and we watched two of the most absolutely pointless and terrible movies ever which just gave us something else to laugh about — and he’s been banned from ever having movie selection privileges again. LOL His nieces and nephew adore him and are looking forward to his next visit… I can’t wait to introduce him to my stepsons as well.
I think Avalyn favors him a little bit… sort of random, but I see it. ;) I’m starting to see what traits came from my dad’s side which is something that I previously had no clue about. I rambled on and on and on to Barry about the short couple of days Chris was here and Barry suggested turning the media room into a studio so that when Chris comes we can slip down there and just do what we do: Sing.
Here are some videos I recorded during our visit… enjoy! :)