Creative Nonfiction

Dear Brother,

Fun fact: This is a letter you do not have to write back to. You have more supreme duties to focus your strength on and I do not want to distract you. I, on the other hand, am not married and doubt my life is ever headed in that direction. I have plenty of time to revisit things past and things as they could have been.

The main purpose of this letter: To pour out my thoughts to you, as I was used to doing. Barred from owning your attention and relying on you as a brother, I am now unable to do so in person with any real satisfaction. I am shocked when I realize the number of my thoughts and the things that have happened to me that you do not know of. I think, if my brother was coming now from work, as he used to, I would talk to him about this and this. I would tell you everything, and delightedly show you the books I got from the library and the blanket I am crocheting, and how I plan to write this story and this one in November, and I would inform you sadly of how our last three geese wandered off, the geese you loved so much, and can never see again.

I have things that I want to tell you, and it's not the same telling someone else. You were a good confidant and friend to me as I grew up. I really benefited from having you as my brother. I felt so close to you.

This letter is about me needing my brother still. My body and heart fall into habitual practices, and they long to include you in my life. I wanted things to stay the same. I am not the center of the universe; I had hoped I was the center of my brothers' universes. But this is not so at all. It's all right. One day, there will be a time when my heart will understand these things, and not feel so betrayed.

You claimed a life, one of your own choice and making, as I claim mine. I just didn't expect them to be so different. I thought others shared or should share my same goals and desires; they appeared good ones to me. It turns out I am self-centered. What I wished was for my family to stay together forever. Just us, same as always, always. This life together with you all is so precious to me, it was utterly fine by me if we became immortal and continued our days exactly as we have done.

My prayers, faithfully answered for many years, have held as long as they could against the natural course of nature, and now you are in your thirties, you have married. It is done.

If I am kind and I really love you, I will let you go, and start praying for a new future. Your family's future. When I shed my own skin that pins my love to the ground in its vehement selfishness, I will pray that you will all have many astounding and perfect years together.

As we did.

I remember when you showed me outside to see my birthday present, the desk for my computer and as an addition, a funny music video collection that we both loved as children.

I remember taking walks in winter and talking about weight problems. You needed to gain weight, and I wanted to lose it. We understood and encouraged each other. Sometimes, though, I talked back to you and we fought. I was a naughty, stubborn younger sister who thought herself equal, if not more mature, than her older brothers.

I was thinking the other day about when I watched those Christian movies with you, and how even if I watch a movie with one of our other brothers, it can't replace how it felt to watch a movie with just you. It was really fun. Each experience with each person is uniquely wonderful and I want them all.

You never got to show me the Matrix. You were going to do that right before you got married, around my birthday. It didn't happen. Now there are a string of things that don't happen anymore. They hang on tacks in my heart, and make me bitter. I can't be expected to adjust and love this new life so quickly, but I must adjust if I am going to grow straight.

You would write on present notes about what a wonderful young woman I was. Even though you can no longer see me as I grow, I am striving to become the young woman that your generous, affectionate heart already saw me as. When you believe something over someone, you help make it true.

I miss you. You know, I even missed you while you still lived with us. That's because you worked so hard and were so busy. And that's also because you can never get enough time with someone you love. I will still think after I have lived sixty years that I have not been able to soak you guys up enough. I feel acutely how a desire for completeness in any area can never be fulfilled.

...There is another reason you will not be expected to reply to this letter. It is because I am not going to send it. This letter as I began to write it, wasn't for you, even if addressed so. It was for me. I have to get through this new and unsettling experience somehow. I have to come out the other side happy and content and a good woman. But this letter's substance is my mind in its transition state, and it's a bit awful. My brainchild, this letter, shows only my selfish, self pitying constituents.

I squirm against and resent this situation. Why did you have to go?

I may never understand exactly how you felt, but perhaps I can knock it into my head that this is what you want. You.

And I am not the center of the universe. And I don't get everything I want.

But I can still return to my sphere of contentment, my dreamland of family and security. It's right here in my heart, and it survives in the ones who have not left yet, our brothers and sisters.

It cannot be destroyed. It is strong in my memories yet. It will always be what my life is about.

I say again, as I said when I was a child:

My family is the most important thing to me.



October 03, 2019 17:31

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