According to my Facebook wall, today is National Siblings Day. All of my friends are posting pics of their siblings and spouting lovely platitudes about just how great their siblings are, blah, blah, blah.
I hate to break it to all of you, but I have the most supercalifragilisticexpialidocious brother ever. EVEH. Let me tell you why your siblings don't stack up to my younger brother.
First, I've already shared the tales about him asking if he could have herpes and how he reacted to winning a gold medal in the reading Olympics and those stories alone blow just about every other single sibling story out of the water.
I could stop there, but I won't because while those are lovely anecdotes, they don't really tell you who Dave is as a brother.
Dave isn't just the younger sibling my mom gave birth to 3 1/2 years after I became accustomed to being an only child, making him my biological family, but he's my friend. Actually, he's one of my best friends. He's usually the first person I call with good news and the first person I call when I feel like my life is falling apart because I can always count on him to cheer loudest for me and to have my back.
Sure, sometimes we fight, just like all siblings. But what I know for sure is that no matter how much we yell at each other, deep down we truly love each other. I've heard it said that you don't fight with people you are afraid will leave. I know Dave won't ever leave and he knows I won't leave either. That enables us to be brutally honest with each other and when we're done, we both apologize for our part in the argument and resume our tight relationship.
Dave challenges me more than anyone I've ever known and holds me accountable. He pushes me to be better and never stops believing in me, even when my belief in myself has long since left. Hiking up Baldy in 2004? Dave cheered for me the whole way. Swimming across Lower Herring Lake in 2010? Dave kayaked right along side of me and when I needed to stop and catch my breath, he just floated with me. He never ridiculed my slowness. Unlike my dad, Dave never doubted I could do it. He just encouraged me and made sure I knew that he was there to catch me if I needed it. Climbing Sleeping Bear Dunes in 2013? Did it with Dave. No one believes in me the way Dave does.
And I return the belief and support. When he needs help, I'm Dave's first call because I don't judge him or tell him I told him so. When he's got news to celebrate, I can always be counted on cheer the loudest.
Although I live much closer to our parents (30 minutes from Mom and 3 hours from Dad vs. Dave's 6 hours from each), Dave provides close to 50% of their care. In fact, Dad had knee surgery a few weeks ago and Dave went down to Indy two days before I did and I didn't even know he was there. Sometimes his participation is simply listening to my frustrations on the phone, but that is just as valuable as being the person on the scene.
Dave is a contractor and, although he performs difficult physical labor five to seven days each week, he never says no to helping fix something at our Mom's house, Dad's house, or my house. It's a given that when Dave comes to town he's always got a Honey Do List to complete. Although Mom and I pay for the materials for work he does on my house or our Mom's house, we pay for his labor by going on a major Costco shopping spree for him and sending him home with a freezer full of homemade frozen food. It's a fair trade.
When he was a senior in high school, Dave two silver pendants in an art class - one for his girlfriend and one for our mom. I wanted one badly and for my 21st birthday, he surprised me with a silver pendant of two people standing next to each other connected at the hands and feet. I remember being thrilled that he remembered how I wanted a piece of his artwork, but it wasn't until later that night that I realized this wasn't just any old piece of art. For one of his last high school papers, he wrote about the meaning of this particular piece of art he'd made. According to his paper, the two people represented us and the bond we share; the way we always took care of each other and the role played in each others lives. I sobbed like a baby when I read these words that, as a 17 year old high school kid, he could not say out loud.
So there you have it. Dave is the coolest brother ever. EVER.
Happy National Siblings Day Dave! You're the best and I wouldn't want to have anyone else as my brother.
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