As a kid I certainly saw my brothers as heroes: The first of them was the kindest man on the entire planet; he taught and played and disciplined us with the love and affection of an eldest sibling. I read my first horror novel from his collection. He had a trunk load of James Hardly Chase novels but I never touched them because of the covers… too bad! 😀 He also made us watch horror movies in the day-time eating ice cream and popcorn, which made the effect of the movie less horrific. Once he was invited to my school during career week to talk about his profession as an accountant. That day he drove into the school in his shiny red Toyota car (a hand me down from mom) and came into the hall with a suit and tie. He gave a speech on how to become an accountant and I can remember the ovation he got afterwards (most of which he got for his good looks rather than anything else, I think)… I was so proud of him.
My second older brother loved computer games, and though he didn’t like to share them, he was content with us hanging around his head while he played. He also had one of those adventure game-books where the choices you made would take you to a different page thus changing the course of the adventure as well as the end of the story depending on the page you chose. I remember reading that book over and over again, changing my choices a million times, trying to know all the possible outcomes of the adventure and trying again if one choice led to my “death”. I guess that’s why those analytical tests with multiple questions in magazines are pretty much predictable to me! He also learned Karate and I enjoyed watching him learn and teach and go for national competitions until an eye injury made him stop. He coaches now, and I remember him mostly for his love of a good laugh.
My third brother is three years older than I am, so we were pretty close. We climbed trees and rode his rusty bike together (I have a scar on my leg to pay for it). I remember his good looks made him so popular in my school that I became popular because of him! When I felt fat and like an outcast he helped me put together outfits and took me for all his friends parties. And yes, he handed me down his shirts and jeans – I was a “feminine tom-boy” then, so I didn’t mind one bit! We would go to parties and get home late and have our dad yelling at us but that didn’t stop us, we’d be off to another party. Once we went to a party with our kid sister and by the time we got home daddy had the gate locked. We had to help each other over our 8 – 10ft fence to get into the house (I tore my favourite leather pants in the process)… Next day during morning prayers we were present and kneeling like we never even left the house! Haha. Lectures replaced prayers that morning…
I still watch horror movies, and would still read a Stephen King novel when I find it. I can still remember the whole Karate “Kata 1” movements and I love men’s wrist watches, fragrances and shirts. They may have been responsible for my being a tom-boy, but they also taught me how to be independent, to love wholeheartedly, to never be afraid, to be independent, and to never give up. Yup, it seems I learned a lot more than I thought from those three, and now, even when I live far away from them and I feel like we’re not close anymore, I draw warmth from the memories of the past and know that I can always count on my brothers’ love whenever I need to.