(As part of the BlogHer August challenge, I have been writing with the prompt of “hot” all month. Today I am veering off the path a bit. Today, I am not “hot” but “warm”.)
On April 1 of this year I wrote a post about my brother, being angry with him, knowing that I was going to lose him, and figuring out that losing him was so much worse than holding on to the anger.
Months before, when my brother became sick, I sent him a note with a quote in it. The quote was as follows:
Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think
Christopher Robin to Pooh
I have this quote over my desk as encouragement. What I did not realize at the time was that the quote had been shortened. The longer and in this case more meaningful quote is:
If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.
A. A. Milne
I sent this to my brother for two reasons. The first was to offer him encouragement. He was going to have a tough battle and I wanted him to know that if anyone could win, I thought that he could. The second reason is that when he was younger, he had a lot of affection for the Winnie the Pooh collection of stories by E. B. White. (Not the Disney ones of today but the original books.)
He has been on my mind a lot lately. I started wondering if he still had the same feelings about Winnie the Pooh when he was older that he had in his younger years. I think that as part of a family it is easy to forget that our siblings move on and have their own lives and interests and changes. Do my siblings think of me in ways that I have long outgrown? Do you ever really see your sibling as the adult they became? I am one of five children. None of us live in the same town or even within an hour of each other. We don’t see each other’s professional selves. We may know about things that our siblings accomplish but because it is not part of our everyday life, I don’t know that as siblings we are seen as our individual communities see us.
And maybe that is a good thing. Maybe we all need to have a place where we are not our grown up selves but we are back as part of a family unit that knows our backstory and loves us. Maybe we need a place where our accomplishments are celebrated but not the sum total of who we are. Perhaps having people love us even though we knocked down the Christmas tree at age 6 means the most.
I have a necklace that I never take off. It has my mother’s wedding ring and now a charm with the inscription that I sent my brother. What could be better than getting a bit of strength from Winnie the Pooh?
Thanks for reading!