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He's My Brother

Story ID:5596
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA/Canada
Year:2010
Person:My Brother
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Like the Christmas before, we didnít send Christmas cards; we called my family
in Canada. Ginny and I talked to my mom. We spoke to my uncles and aunts. I havenít
seen any of them in seven years and Ginny hasnít met them yet at all, but she knows they
are family and hopes to meet them one day.

The calls were completed, but I couldnít relax. There was one call I needed to
make, I was afraid to. I paced the house. I sat at my computer and wasted time. I needed
to call. I couldnít. I should. I couldnít. I was in turmoil.

Five years before, I received an email from my brother. At the time, I had been
out of work for several months. Stress ruled my life. The email from my brother was
nothing terrible, but it made me angry.

I wrote back. As I typed, my anger grew. Months of frustration flowed into my
nasty response. I said things that were not nice, but I hit send anyway. More thoughts
occurred to me. I wrote a second nasty email. My fingers hammered the keys as I typed.
I basically told my brother to go to hell. I could care less if I ever heard from him again.

The next day I received an email from him. I didnít read it. I just deleted it and
then blocked his email address, so I could not receive anything from him.

In the last five years, I know he has tried to get through to me, but I ignored him.

For five years I have lived with this terrible guilt. I thought about contacting him,
but was ashamed of myself for what Iíd said.

Now was the time.

I picked up the phone and stepped outside. I wanted privacy. Ginny didnít know I
was calling my brother. I took a deep breath, blew out a cloud of steam into the cold
December air, and dialed his number. Even after five years, I still knew it by heart. A
phone rang 3700 miles away in Nova Scotia.

There was no answer. I left a message. ďBob, itís Mike.Ē I paused to take another
breath. My hand holding the phone shook. ďBob, I guess Iíll start by saying Iím sorry.
I said some things I regret. I want to wish you and Delores (Bobís wife) a merry
Christmas and hope all is well with you. I realize you may not want to talk to me, but I
thought I would try. I want to make it right again. If you want to talk ÖĒ I left my
number.

I walked back into the house and looked at Ginny. ďI did it.Ē

She looked puzzled. ďYou did what?Ē

ďI called Bob.Ē

ďOh, Honey!Ē She walked to me and put her arms around my neck. ďIím glad.
You needed to do it. Itís family, Mike, and itís been too long.Ē She kissed me. ďYou did
right, Hun.Ē

The days passed. Christmas came and went. I waited for the call that never came.
I prayed for his forgiveness. The phone never rang. Then a week after I called, I received
an email. My brother left me a message on my Facebook page. He said he listened to my
voice message over-and-over and knew I was sincere. Over the last few weeks, we have
been emailing and healing.

Why did I let five years of my brotherís life slip through my fingers? Why was I
too proud to call and say I was sorry?

If I had the answers, it would never have happened in the first place, but I know
I donít want it to happen again.

I wrecked my relationship with my brother. Like a jigsaw puzzle that has been
dropped, the pieces are scattered everywhere. Itís time to gather them up and try to put
it back together. It will take time, but I hope each piece I put back will gain a little more
of my brotherís trust.

I swallowed my pride. I did it. Five years is too long. Heís my brother.

Michael T. Smith

Note: Many people have family problems like I did. Please donít hold a grudge.
Donít be the fool I was. Fix it before it is too late.