In my post ‘not many handshakes going on these days.‘, I concluded with the following –

Today, I hug and kiss my dad always without hesitation and the response is welcomed.  I do not kiss my brothers, but we do hug now – not many handshakes going on these days.

The first hug and kiss to my dad – I remember that day as if it were yesterday.


In today’s post I begin with the following –

Today is my oldest brother’s birthday; he reaches 61 years today.  I have written very little about my twin sister and almost nothing about my brothers.  It is not that they are not important; it is I feel they do not necessarily play an important role in my life, the history of me, the current me, that which is me and is my life.

As mentioned in the above post, I do not kiss my brothers, but we do hug now – not many handshakes going on these days.

Recently, well these past several months; the relationship with my brothers has changed some.  Before Gary and I left Dallas last month, we had dinner with family including my oldest brother, the birthday brother.  As we ended our gathering, he asked about me and my condition and the expectations for the future.  I provided him the information I knew at that point, which did not include the chemotherapy that I am now undertaking.  At that time departing from dinner, he gave me a brotherly hug and said, I love you!  First time for my oldest brother to speak those words to me.

Since that night, there was another conversation on the phone and the same words were spoken to end the discussion.

I have always embraced compassion, love and expression.  Each one of these aspects of us is important, not just for us, but to others also.  My dad and brothers not always easy for them, are coming around to embrace these same aspects.  I believe it is never too late to express the importance of compassion, love and expression.

There is the other brother; another older sibling, the one for which him and I have had basically a non-existent relationship for most of our lives.  We are different, or so we thought until much later in life, that life in times that is now.  We rarely speak on the phone and actually see each other in person less often, very seldom and more often rarely.  We have had a couple of phone conversations in the past month, and spoke more to each other than we have in the past 5 years.

Last week, we ended our phone conversation and before we disconnected, there was a pause, nothing spoken, just a pause.  I felt him and I wanted to say something more, to end the conversation differently than we always have.  The time was not right, not yet, but it may be the next time it will be.


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The years preceding today, for the brothers, it was not always easy to embrace compassion, love and expression.

They are changing – what a nice birthday present for us all.

Happy Birthday Brothers.

64 thoughts on “Brothers

  1. I’m an only child, so I no real reference point about siblings. However, I have three boys. I hope and pray that they are always close and tell each other how much they love each other, always. We are a huggy/kissy kind of family, so I love you’s flow freely in our house. I just hope that continues long after their mom and I are gone. And that they teach their kids the same thing.

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  2. I have 4 brothers Terry (all older) they are so very important in my life! Not a week goes by without me seeing one of them or all of them- they’ll stop by the house or have lunch or bring their families by to visit and swim, eat and kid around. Family is everything too me and it always has been. Glad to hear your news…Gatorette

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  3. I am also an only child, but I have my two boys, who now due to work live in different countries, they think the world of each other, and I know they speak most days ! I hope that this remains for many years, they have each other and they need each other, it is lovely to see….and they always tell each other that they love each other which is a lovely thing, have a great day ❤

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  4. I almost always end phone conversations and say good-bye to my family and friends with “Love you!” In case it is our last conversation, I always want it to be the last thing they remember me saying 🙂 Love you Terry! ❤

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  5. I never had siblings and always envied people who did UNTIL I met my husband’s brothers. 🙂

    I don’t have any blood-related family; my family are the people I (we) chose in our circle and I always make sure I tell them “I love you.” Regardless how old we are, live can be over in the blink of an eye.

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  6. Having been the eldest of 5 we were always a huggy family.. Yet my hubbies family were not.. I must prefer a hug than see a hand shake.. I am sure that time will come when it will be natural to say I love you.. Its wonderful to know you are bonding closer to get to this point..
    Sending thoughts your way Terry… have a great day xxx Sue

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  7. I have two sisters, one older, one younger. I have only seen the younger five or six times in the last 61 years. When she was 5, she said “if I ever pass you on the street, I’m going to spit in your face.” (She had been taught well by my mama, to hate me.)
    I never heard the “I love you” phrase from anybody in my family. Actually, when I asked mama why she didn’t love me, she asked me what in the round world I had ever done to make anybody love me.
    I have never said it to my children. To me, it’s a hollow phrase. Everybody who was supposed to have loved me, treated me like garbage.
    If after all these years, it offers peace to you, to hear those words from your brothers,that is wonderful. I would be asking “why now?”

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      • I don’t know the dynamics of your situation. My daddy had two brothers. One drank himself to death and the other one lived in the same city, yet he never called my daddy. My daddy would call him and ask if they could go fishing together. His brother never had time…for him.
        When my daddy died, that brother showed up with flowers and tears. That man wouldn’t give him the time of day when he was alive.
        I despise that. If my children find out that I’m sick…or dead…I’m sure it will be the same thing.
        Don’t wait until somebody is sick…or dying…or dead to act like you care.
        I guess that’s why I would say “why now?”

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        • I understand where you are coming from. Different feelings, emotions for different people under different circumstances. I accept my brothers for who they are and have no reason to feel differently now, they are my brothers and I love them no matter what.


  8. It beautiful to know that situations have changed within your family and that you are all feeling more comfortable with eachother, without anything feeling forced. That next conversation with your brother, I am sure will end, with ‘I love you’.
    I have loved so deeply it hurts and lost due to death. Circumstances were difficult at the time and I was not there at the end, and I never relaid my deepest feelings, to the father of my daughters. This literally haunts me every day. I have learnt though through all this, never to let feelings go unsaid. I have mentioned before my brother lives in Connecticut, and we phone each other at least once a week, he and I have a great relationship, and I can honestly say it feels so good, natural and comfortable for us to say ‘I love you’ at the end of our conversation (maybe even a few times). I know that life can take us in a heartbeat (as I have experienced), and I know that I would not be able to live with myself knowing that I hadn’t told my brother of my love for him. What I deal with daily from my first love, I could not deal with again…I know it is different, but it is sort of the same. From my loss, I have learnt never to hide my true feelings from family and friends. Love and Hugs my friend. 🙂

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    • Lynne, thank you for your heartfelt comment, and I am pleased you have a great relationship with your brother. Those words have a different meaning for different people and the degree of importance can change over time. Thank you for sharing your personal story, I appreciate you. 🙂

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  9. That’s wonderful that your brother was able to show his true self to you….in my family we never used to say “I love you” at the end of phone conversations, or much hugging good-by, but in 1883 we lost out father unexpectedly…he had a heart attach and did not survive…since then, we never hung up without saying we love each other and the hugs go on forever upon coming and going from relative houses, even spontaneous hugging happens know…I love it….the last time I saw my father was on an island in Alaska, he was visiting my sisters who lived there and I had just moved up there…they stopped by the store to say good bye as they were leaving on the ferry that afternoon….no hugging, no I love you’s or any of that…just see you soon, come visit when you can….after they, mom and dad, walked out, I went running our into the parking lot and hugged my father tightly….told him in his ear how much I loved him…..for what reason I would do that….not sure, but I would like to believe that deep down inside my soul I knew it was the last time I would ever get to hug my father, he had a heart attach a couple weeks later…..I am so happy that your brother has started to open up and show his true brotherly emotions….nice to be loved isn’t it….hope your looking at a wonderful weekend ahead of you….xxxkat

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    • A beautiful story kat, and inspiring also. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a death to bring families closer together; this was the case for Gary and his brothers also with the loss of their dad. I appreciate you as always for stopping by, you bring a smile to my face. 🙂


  10. I’m the middle child and only girl sandwiched between two brothers. Neither they nor my father (who passed 13 years ago) are demonstrative with affection whereas I am. Over the years we have bridged the gap a little and now they will give me a hug and a very stiff lipped kiss. My older brother lives in Western Australia so I seldom see him and he is a hopeless communicator. My little bro and I email quite regularly and he being in South East Asia for many years saw more of his brother. But last month whilst I was in England he was hit by a speeding motorbike as he crossed a road in Bangkok. We thought he would die from his injuries but he is now out of hospital and progressing. My big brother and I worked on either side of the world, together to make sure his insurance paid, his company (in Bahrain where he is based) were kept informed and finding a lawyer to protect his interests in the court case to decide liability. It brought us close and I realised that even though in my head my brother never understood me and didn’t really care I was wrong. He just has a different way of expressing himself. This surely is a silver lining to your illness that your brothers are finally able to express in their way what they have always felt …. They LOVE you. 😀

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    • Osyth, thank you for sharing your personal story, it seems sometimes it takes a tragic event to bring us closer to our family. As you indicate, others in our family may have a different way of expressing themselves. I respect this with my brothers and actually understand it. So, for them to start changing now, I am fortunate. I always appreciate your comments – Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend with the daughter! 🙂

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  11. This gave me warm fuzzies. I am glad things are changing for you and your brothers. Whether you are near or far, we never know when the last time is that we get to speak to or see someone. I think it is always important that they know. I am glad things are changing and it is getting to where it isn’t just a known thing but a spoken thing. Happy for you!

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  12. Life is so short, too short really, and it’s so heartwarming to hear that your relationship with your brothers has deepened. This post gives me hope that maybe one day my brother and I can get to a point where we can share our love for one another.

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  13. That is a lovely post to your brothers and I am glad that you are able to be closer. Life has changed very much since you and I were born. Men didn’t hug, you didn’t say I love you to your family (even if you did) and nor was their any treatment for cancer. All of these changes are worth celebrating. K x

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    • Times have changed, and the brothers are coming around. I was fine with the way it was before, not a big deal for me as I know my brothers and accept them for who they are. But, as times change, so do people. Hope Friday is wonderful for you there in Texas! 🙂

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  14. How lovely it is that you and your borthers and father now seem to find a way to express your feelings to each other! This really is so important! Your post gives me hope that it is never to late to do so in life! Thank you for this, Terry! I will keep this in my mind! xxxxx

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  15. It’s great that you are becoming closer with your brothers. I was extremely close to my siblings when we were growing up, and then I don’t know what happened. Sister got married, brother got married, and I never understood why that should cause distance. But it did. Like I said, it’s great that you’re letting each other back into your lives. I lost my brother last year before I even had the chance.

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    • Paula, life takes us and our siblings in different directions. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your brother and hope that the distance does not weigh to much on you. I appreciate your honesty and always welcome your feedback. I hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂

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