Oh, Brothers

by Kristen

I don’t know what triggered it. One minute I was on stage practicing with the praise band and the next minute I was hiding in the choir room hugging my knees to my chest, eyes pressed into kneecaps—sobbing.

I heard the door open and close. I felt arms encircle me.

There were no words. She knew.

The eldest had moved away. The middle wouldn’t be moving back for a couple months. I was brother-less and lost.

Somehow I thought even as the adults we’d become we would land in the same place. I thought enduring the middle’s out-of-state college years was the end. But now—right before his return—the eldest had moved 400 miles away for grad school. And I realized he might not come back. This distance might be the new normal, and I didn’t think I could bear it.

I did. Barely.

We established new routines of visits and phone calls. When he finished grad school and chose to accept a job in his adopted locale, I’d almost become accustomed to the distance. And when I moved out of state, it was the brothers’ turn to visit me.

There was something I didn’t know that night in the choir room. I had no idea how adaptable and flexible and creative the three of us could be. And while I still hope we find a way to narrow the distance at some point, I’ve found the fear of distance to be hollow. I had no idea the elasticity of our bond.


This post is part of the 31 Days: Family series. Read the beginning, and see a full index of posts, here.

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