When I think of my little brother, I tear up.
He gets me. He always has. No questions asked. I’ve never had to justify my existence to him. Ever. He loves me unconditionally. Always.
To have someone who’s always on your side like that, well I struggle to find the words.
Tracy and I knew each other before this life. We chose each other as brother and sister–so we could grow up together, protecting each other. We were friends before we were born. We can sit in silence and gain positive energy from each other just by being. We can read each other’s thoughts. I’m terrified of this world without him in it. But it has not always been this way.
He was my baby brother, too cute for words when he was small. We all doted over him. But he grew up to be a cheeky monkey as all little brothers do. We would fight like regular siblings. It was me and my sister ganging up on him or he and I ganging up on her or them ganging up on me. Just regular kid stuff.
He is four years my junior and I don’t remember ever sharing a school with him. We must have overlapped in elementary school but I don’t recall those days or years. I wonder if he does?
Once on a snowy morning, before he was old enough for school, he got dressed in all his snow gear and walked my sister and me to the bus stop a few houses away. He had strict instructions to go straight back home after the bus came. As our bus pulled away, I watched him as he turned around and started walking up the sidewalk. He slipped and fell backwards and then he was out of sight. My heart broke. I remember thinking if I should ask the bus driver to stop so I could run and check on him. I was worried about him all day long wondering if he got up and made it home. I had visions of him lying there crying and calling out my name. After school, the bus dropped me off and I ran home to check on him. He didn’t even remember falling. All that worry for nothing.
When he was about three-years-old he had a favorite outfit he wore all the time. It was an orange t-shirt with a Hawaiian girl in a grass skirt doing the hula and red, white and blue striped pants. He used to say the girl on his shirt was his girlfriend and of course that made us laugh so we asked him all the time who she was.
I remember Tracy going from irresistibly cute, to undeniably annoying, to downright mean. We finally found our common ground after high school but it wasn’t until I returned home from my L.A. adventure that we became inseparable. Tracy and I were the only kids living at home, we went to the same University and worked together too.
Tracy had a big monster truck that we drove around in. It makes me laugh to think about it. If he saw a cute girl at a red light, he made me duck down, and I did. It was a time when we were learning about ourselves. Trying to figure out our own life’s pathway. Hashing out who were we now and what were we going to be.
This time together was a blessing. We had always been close but this just brought us closer. Marriages, kids and schooling sent us in different directions but we’ve always remained close. We live exactly 8,454 miles apart, but when we get together we pick up right where we left off. These days I only get to see him and his family every few years when I fly home.
My brother has a busy life. A big job at the hospital in charge of many. He has five kids. The oldest just got married last week and the youngest only starting school and his second son is currently serving a mission in South America. My brother magnifies his church callings and is a health freak running marathons, relays and triathlons. He hikes up snowy mountains and skis down them and he’s backpacked into the Grand Canyon more than once. When he comes home from work he falls asleep in his recliner while his sweet wife makes dinner…just like our dad used to do when we were little but I think my brother was too small to remember that. (Secretly I’m very pleased my husband has not adopted this behavior.)
I can not be prouder of my little brother and his life achievements. He’s the guy that’s loved by all. His sweet wife, his kids, extended family, in-laws, his employees, as well as his church family. Like I said, I tear up when I think about him and I am so proud to be his big sister.
I love you, Tracy, thank you for always been there for me. I can’t count how many times you’ve literally dropped whatever you are doing to help me out. You make this world a better place just by being you. Thanks for adding so much to my life♥♥♥
 He was mean to me when I made the decision to go to Skyline High School. Following my older brother’s lead, Tracy spent many days calling me a traitor as I yelled back “Shut Up!” and then he went to Skyline, giving me the last laugh.