Sunday, October 4, 2009


The carpet is littered with photos. My fingers are raw... but I cannot stop thumbing.

Is that really us? You smile through the gaps in your teeth. I smile back despite the clear accident I've had with the 1990's. Why didn't you tell me crimpers were from Satan?

I'm six and you're ten. It's obvious I've chased you down the hall again, screaming, "Flu bug! Flu bug!" I know this because my mouth is shaped upward and your hair is shaped outward... both clear signs that our socks and the linoleum have 0nce again met.

It's nothing new, this chasing. I've done it since the moment I could put one foot in front of the other. The urge comes over me every time you turn sarcastic. I fly at your head and scream, "Tina! Tina!"

I am the pro-wrestler. You are the hunted.

Until you've had enough.

I pretend to hate the spinning. I hold on tight as you whirl me around and around. I yell and writhe and sock you hard on the back. I want you to know how torturous this is for me.

The truth is, I have always wanted to be in your arms.

You are my brother, and I will follow you anywhere.

I follow you to the first day of school. The first Nintendo. The first soccer game. The first spelling-bee. The first date. The first car. The first graduation.

There you stand in your cap and gown. The chase should be over.

But you are my brother, and I will follow you anywhere.

I harass you with late night instant messages. Early morning prayers. Christmas-break movies.

I watch you through your first job. First grad school. And now... your first, and last, true love.

My heart knows from the look in your eyes...she is special.

For the first time ever, I step back.

I cease the chase.

I allow the tears to flow.

I allow the smile to form.

Because today my heart is happy. It sings as you stand beside her, hand in hand. Her eyes glisten as you promise to love her faithfully, deeply, and loyally.

And I know you will. Because you are my brother, and you will follow her anywhere.

In a moment it is gone. The vows are said, the hands are grasped, the kiss is placed. The camera clicks and I hope against hope the moment is captured.

Some day, twenty years from now, I will thumb through these photos until my fingers are raw. I will laugh. I will smile. I will cry. And I will thank God for the precious memories we have shared.

Because you are my brother -- she is my sister -- and I will follow both of you anywhere.


Deanna said...

Simply beautiful!

Erica said...

I love my new sister!

Ames said...

i know exactly what you are saying!!!

this made me tear up.

way to go Phil!!!

BJ Hamrick said...

Thanks so much Deanna! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Erica - Your new sisters love you!!

Ames - Aww... yes, way to go Phil!

I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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