For those who do not know, I have an amazing brother. Here are some little facts about my life with my brother.
- My brother is younger than me. I am the oldest of four siblings but I spent my entire childhood growing up with only one brother because my younger sisters were adopted after I turned 18.
- My brother and I were best friends when we were really little.
- We then spent the next... I don't know, 10 years, hating each other (but loving each other at the same time. You know how it goes?)
- One time my brother was gone for a week at Bible camp. I was so bored and lonely that when he came home I was super excited and went crazy finding photos of him to tape to the front door to greet him when he came home.
- The next day I hated him again. :P
- My brother became my best friend again once he started attending the high school with me. We would fight all morning while getting ready for school but as soon as we sat in the car together (with me behind the wheel, of course), we were best friends and all the drama of the morning was forgotten.
- Seriously, like, the car was magical or something.
- I helped my brother get his first job. It was at Golfland, a mini golf and arcade, it also was where I worked for three years.
- My brother is hilarious.
- My brother is one of those easy-to-like-right-away guys because he is just so personable and he knows how to talk to people. Is that the same thing? Well, whatever!
- He was not always this way! Growing up he was super shy, and introverted. He surprised our whole family when he announced that he was going to be in the school musical and then surprised us even further when we discovered that he was really good! I went all big sister and got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I watched him perform.
Yeah, I love my brother. The last time I had seen Ryan was a couple of weeks after Alex was born. In 2008. Yeah. So I was so very excited when he told me that he was planning a road trip with his girlfriend, Ai, to introduce her to the sights of the USA (Ai is from Japan and this was her first trip to America), and would be coming up this way for a quick visit! I was hesitant to get my hopes up because you know... the best laid plans and all, but the day finally came and before I knew it, I was opening my door up to see my brother standing there with a full on (well, we can use that term loosely) beard and a goofy look on his face that I can't even begin to explain except to just call it the "Ryan face" and I hugged him and started crying. It was a happy moment. I'm tearing up again just thinking about it!
We spent the evening doing the home tour, getting to know Ai-chan, and just being all happy together in my home. I don't get to have my family in my home very often so I was just beside myself a bit. Here are a few photos from that first night and next morning:
The next day I took Marah to school and the rest of us just sat around talking, eating (Ai-chan ate her first bowl of cocoa puffs), drawing, and relaxing. At 11 we all headed over to visit Marah for lunch and Ai-chan got to visit an American school for the first time. Marah was so proud to have so many visitors :)
That night we played Rock Band, made pumpkin muffins and went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
The next day we went to Cabela's and followed that with a trip out to my sister-in-law's house where her hunting fanatic husband, Fred, showed Ai-chan how to shoot a gun. It was hilarious! Unfortunately no one caught a picture of her being knocked down from the power of the rifle (don't ask me what these guns were all called, I just know that it was the black one). Ryan was a natural with the gun and had no trouble shooting clays with the big boys ;)
On Sunday we went to church before the two headed out for Seattle and I was left a sobbing mess with Marah patting my leg and rubbing my back and Eric offering me Ativan, which I declined :P
I hope it won't be another 2 years before I see my brother again, but it is more likely than not that it will be. It's the hard, cold (literally) truth of living in rural Minnesota when my family lives in San Diego. I miss them but that's just the way things are for now.
In the meantime I just thank God for these moments, few and far between as they may be, and enjoy them as best I can.
Make each day count!