♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Brothers and Sisters. Talk about these relationships.
Family relationships are notoriously fraught with issues. Probably none more than sibling relationships. From feuds to a lack of attention for all, the problems run the gamut. The psychology of relationships is an intriguing thing to examine.
For instance, my father came from a family of four. They didn’t want for much. My granddad had a great job in the 1960s through to retirement with GE. My grandmother later took a job working for Ma Bell, as an operator (I actually got her one time when I dialed zero). My aunt has been gone for several years now, but there are still my two uncles. We haven’t much to do with them. One is indifferent to our family and the other is a weasel (to put it kindly). I won’t dish the family dirt on him, but the man could be well-buried for it. On the other side, my mom came from poverty. Her stepfather was an ass. My uncle on that side is a man of great heart. He doesn’t always do the right thing, but he tries. He works with what he has. He can also have a temper—no one is perfect. I have a temper, too. It’s a response to the piles of crap we experience, that when it gets too much, we throw it all off. There is always a source for anger, and always telling others or even yourself that you cannot act that way is not always fair. That said, he’s been a good Uncle to me, far better than the others by large strides. So, too, my father’s best friend growing up, who we lost this year, was a better brother to him and a better uncle to me and my brother than the couldn’t-care-less and weasel uncles.
Between these two contradictions, me and my brother were raised. My mother instilled in both of us the value of family. She was vehement about us not fighting and not being indifferent to one another. She insisted we care about each other and somehow, despite sibling rivalry and all that, we grew up to be adults who very much care what happens to the other.
In a way, I feel quite blessed. In other ways, I am cognizant that this can change at any moment. It nearly had. One person can ruin the whole flow between people, whether it is home, your office or school. As that person came into our lives, the leaving has finally come and things remain good between me and my brother. Thankfully so. Transitions such as this can be quite difficult for the one most attached. Mom’s advice was spot on. We need to remain connected, because family is all you really can be truly sure of. I know that’s not true for everyone, but for some families, those that are lucky and make it a priority, it is true.
My brother can rely on me, as I can on him, for the care required during a difficult time. Distance may separate us currently but it is not insurmountable.
Were things always so Brady Bunch between us? Well—if you remember, those kids fought too. We totally fought, like cats and dogs sometimes. Ask me sometime about the padlock incident. My mother was always worried we’d turn out to hate one another, but as we aged, all of that sort of fell away. Maybe the distance between us, because he moved south for a job (Tennessee and then Virginia) helped with that. I just remember not wanting him to go. I was concerned he was being isolated by someone in his life. (No worries. Remember that I said that person is exiting now). I sensed everything that has come to pass, but my worry was based on still having a brother when all was said and done.
I have quite fond memories of us growing despite the tit for tat and squabbles. He always ate the center cinnamon roll, but I liked the edges anyway, so it was neither here nor there to me. No, he didn’t always share, but I could be stingy too. (Don’t ever ask me to share my raspberry Zingers.) I remember sitting across the table from him as he made googly eyes and smooshed his mashed potatoes from between his teeth to make me laugh, which had our dad yelling us into silence. Yep, we were adorably annoying as well.
This year, as we draw closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am excited to know that my family will all be together again—just like when were just kids. The comfort of that is exactly why so many love the season.
The coolest thing about us, other than how well we get along, how much we like things similarly—we’re both interested in the film industry and dabble. He’s gotten practice directing and is penning screenplays. He was an extra in Ghost Story (1981). My brother was one of the boys hanging off the tow truck when they pull the car out of the lake. We have pictures in the family album of the goopy-oatmeal-ghost and Fred Astaire. I was an extra in a film called Impunity (2006), which won the Queen’s film festival that year. I was an extra during the party scenes (drunk college student. I aced it!). I went to school for screenwriting and am working on placing a feature with a production company. The work is my adaptation of OP-DEC: Operation Deceit.
So, like the Cohen brothers, the Fannings and the Osmonds–the Williams kids will be working together for years to come. I hope the projects are amazing. We will do our best to make that so. Distance and other obstacles are no object. We aim to collaborate and we will make that happen.
I know this because: when I graduated with my masters he was there watching the live stream online, although he couldn’t make it. When he is facing one of the toughest trials of his life, I’m cheer leading him on—whether it is on Skype, FB Chat or texting. We are FAMILY. That matters. We make it work through everything.
Scroll down to the bottom and see what the other authors have to say about siblings. Before you go, check out PJ MacLayne…
Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscapes. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks.