Recently my older brother passed away. He had been in a long term care home for seven years and had all his faculties until the end. He had a sardonic sense of humour and I visited him regularly for all that time. We got to know each other a bit better but he always considered me the scatter-brained sister who made lots of mistakes which he was quite willing to point out but I loved him because he was my brother and that is what family is all about. You don’t have to agree with them or even like them all the time but you are there for them and vice versa.
I remember when we were all still at home and some of us believed in Santa Claus as children and we would all have stockings stuffed with various kinds of nuts and an orange or an apple, a few bits of candy and practical stuff like mittens or socks for the cold winter months. We would draw names in our household and buy only one gift and everyone hoped that my brother would draw their name as he wrapped his small gift elaborately, taping and hiding coins and bills throughout and putting that small box into a bigger box like Russian nesting dolls (Matryoshka dolls) and when you were done, the rest of the kids could go through it all again and anything missed would become theirs so it was a very exciting game you didn’t want to lose and you felt special because he put so much time and effort into it.
Brothers can be a real pain in the ass at times but when they are gone, you really miss the sarcasm and the kindness shown, the teasing and laughter. He was a book worm and having a conversation was sometimes awkward but when we played card games or board games he was very competitive and very good at trash talking. May he rest in peace!