Monday, January 31, 2011

He Ain't Heavy; He's My Brother

My brother has been flitting in and out of my mind lately, like a hummingbird in a spring garden.  I often find myself retrieving one of his photos from my picture file and just staring at the image.  Since he's the last one left from my immediate family I study his adult photo closely and I can see the ephemeral similarities of both father and mother.  His Indian blood comes out mightily in a complexion darker than mine, more like the father but when he smiles I can see the face of my mother about the mouth and eyes.

Sometimes it's the childhood brother who visits me; the little guy of stunted pre-teen growth who, when laying next to me in bed, would extend slumbering fingers and caress my hair.  I thought it was so weirdly funny at the time but now find it endearing.  I can still see the childhood brother, fleet of foot, running down the field with the football, or down the street, sling-shot in hand, in pursuit of fleeing sparrows.  I can still see little hands pummelling a paddle and rubber ball to "break the record" or little fingers curled around a "shooter" in anticipation of the reward of a tightly drawn group of marbles flying outside the ring.

Sometimes the "big" little brother comes skiting across my consciousness, the uniform man in National Guard or Police or Sheriff attire; he of the ready smile and the evident pride of husband and father.  He's the one I know least, time and fate leading me to remote corners of the world where familial ties are strained but not broken.  I don't know the "big" little brother as well but my love for him is eternal and strong and the enduring images of him are always those of a good brother.

And so, my brother's visits to my mind are not heavy at all but I marvel at how clearly I can see him as he documents on FB his comings and goings and doings.  I guess that speaks well for our mother who crafted a tight-knit circle of family between us, so much so that I can clearly see every mannerism he evokes, though not detailed, in FB clarity  I can see him eating that Sal's dinner and perhaps thinking of how much I love them.  And perhaps I too occupy a small sliver of his mind's eye as he wanders down a Selma street, a park or an old Garfield football field.

Though we don't see each other very often we have the richness of memory to enjoy.  He ain't heavy; he's my brother.


Anonymous said...

Dearel I absolutely love this!!! I never stop being amazed by the love that your Mother instilled in both you and your brother and how much family still means to the both of you!

Thank you for the tears,, :-)


A Modest Scribler said...

Thanks, sweetie.

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