I’ve so many. Only one biologically. I love him dearly and he was a frustration for the first half of my life and a blessing for the rest. He took care of Dad in his late stages, who was like a brother when we were working together in a business and never outside working hours, whatever they might be. He was still Dad.

My husband is like a friend especially when he makes fun of me or puts chick flicks on Netflix when he is away on business in the states or overseas. He is my best friend.

My brother-in-law has retreated a bit. We used to talk to each other regularly but he is so busy these days with work he only calls us on the road, like my husband does with me. Originally we had nothing in common but realized that we did so, and now he calls me “sis.”

My brother G was a neighbor when I was a kid. I was allowed to see him for five minutes once a week and he’d give me a psychoses to define and report back. I wanted to get back to him in the hour, but was not allowed by my parents to do so. I just wanted more.

This is about a genetically-aligned brother and other brothers, none fictitious, that I love or have loved.

Tommy was my brother up the street. We were the same age. He came to all my birthday parties but I was told he was away at his aunt’s or at school. Before we were eight, he died of a brain tumor and no-one ever told us and I wasn’t allowed to see my friend or even know that he was sick.

I’m not talking about a few dates, but real friends. Matt was my brother and had a crush on me when I was eight. He carved a wood violin as a holiday ornament and never gave it to me. He called me out of the blue, literally as he is a pilot, the day after our honeymoon and said he was getting divorced (I hadn’t heard from him in decades) and I said “bad timing.” He’s a great guy and we keep in touch from time to time via email and phone. My husband understands. We were little kids who connected educationally and emotionally. Kindred spirits.

Ross and all his siblings and cousins were my brothers and sisters in grade school. They saved me from the bad guys who harassed me on the bus one day. Between them first and the Principal, to whom I was sent because I was crying, those three brothers never got near me again. They were twelve, between families across the way running a dairy and put a stop to the bad guys without any bruises. My brothers and sisters. I married a man who grew up on a dairy and ended up a physicist. Hard workers, hard-headed, loving and kind.

I met a guy first day of college orientation, first minute. We spent a while talking and had a couple of beers. I left him to go to my dorm room, locked it and slept across the room with my Bio roomie gal. At morning I had to go to the bathroom and stepped over this body in the hallway. He’d gone to his dorm and gotten a blanket and pillow and slept in front of my door.

He protected me for four years there and still does, 38 years and tears later. He made me drive him hours to his home to meet his girlfriend, to seek my approval for their marriage. They’ve two adult kids, successful in different realms. He is brilliant and doesn’t know it. That’s my brother. H brought two chairs and stopped the elevator and we talked until dawn about women and girls. He asked questions, so did I. Now he has a girl who is getting her doctorate.

He found me online years ago from a tech conference I attended, called me and I thought it was my future husband of 15 years now just messing with me. I think he mentioned Led, our friend and member of the clan, which I am not allowed to join because I’m a woman. I still think I should be at least an honorary member without shaving my head or carrying a paddle for six months. Nearly 40 years later hazing might kill me.

I have a great husband and only old dog Zoe, Greek for life, who may have a Masters in mouse chasing out of hard snow. He and my family, friends and priests helped me negotiate life. There are more brothers, then sisters and that will take forever!

Home to the armadillo, yea Jerry Jeff Walker, Dee





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