So I never got around to writing what seemed like it should be an obligatory post about what I am thankful for this year. I was busy.
At Thanksgiving dinner Tayte stole the show with his stink eye two line prayer. "Thank you for Gramma and Grampa in Jesus' name - Amen." But my brother brought up later that he was very thankful the year was less exciting than last year.
I had forgotten.
It was only last year I got a call from my mom in the evening. I could tell from the background noise she wasn't at home and I thought maybe my nephew's girlfriend had gone into early labor. I could hear a tremor in my mom's voice that shouldn't have been there though. She told me my little brother had been stabbed. Brother With No Nickname had been doing his job when a shoplifter pulled a knife on him. The wound required twelve staples in his thigh and hundreds and hundreds of stitches in his hand. He had to have surgery to have all the ligaments and tendons reattached. He had to go to therapy for nearly a year. His hand and wrist will be scarred forever.
It was some of the most horrifying seconds I had lived through. The time between Mom saying, "Your brother was stabbed." and "It's bad, but he is going to be ok."
As if that weren't enough, a few months later a high driver ran into Brother With No Nickname on the highway and absolutely totaled his car. My mom called again. "Your little brother has been in an accident", she said. "He is ok." (She really has to get better at delivering bad news.)
My older brother, Guns, is stationed at Fort Hood in Kileen, Tx. Last year I was at school and didn't have to live through the live news feed of the tragedy there like my mom did. I didn't find out until after I got off work there had been a gun man on base and that he had killed several soldiers. I couldn't get ahold of him right away. I asked his wife to tell him I was glad he was ok. When I talked to him later I wanted to tell him I loved him and to please be careful. I wanted to say hearing he could have been hurt sent waves of nausea through me. I think instead I asked if he was bringing microwaveable pork rinds home from the PX. I know the next time I saw him I hugged him a little longer. (And forgave him for not bringing home pork rinds.)
I get upset with my brothers and I think they are weird. I don't agree with all the decisions they make. Especially that decision where they decide not to ask my opinion at all! BUT - They are the only other two people in the world who know what it is like to drive through the Smokey Mountains holding a van door closed. Only they get the importance of discovering a Mad magazine buried under six inches of crap in a sibling's room. They alone understand that I was Granny's favorite. (Wink.) My older brother is a pain in my rear - literally. He pulled me off the hood of a car by my feet in the first grade and cracked my tailbone. He also taught me to skate backwards, and braided my hair. He loves my kids and they love him. My little brother followed me around like a puppy until I left for college when he was still in high school. When I came home we slept under the ceiling fan in the living room and laughed until we were sore at Seinfield's standup routine. He pisses me off still by not realizing when I am not speaking to him. He abuses my children and they love it.
We have inside jokes that are probably annoying to our spouses. None of us can figure out why my dad's favorite snack is barbeque chips, powdered donuts, and chocolate milk, but we know that it is. We are reluctant to leave the house without hearing my mom say, "Be Careful!"
I have a wonderful husband and I have great friends. I am very blessed and I thank God every day.
This Thanksgiving though I was reminded to be especially thankful for both of my brothers and the fact that they had less "exciting" years this year.
I love you, brothers. Even if you are both big, green boogers.