To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega
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The two distinguished gentlemen I am standing with in the photo below are two of my big brothers, Glenn and Bill. When I was growing up, my family consisted of three older brothers, an older sister, and a younger brother (who passed away as a three-day old infant due to a lung condition called hyland membrane). Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing two of my big brothers at a family wedding in Lincoln. So I decided I would include a post on this blog about them and some of the stuff I remember from my point of view. (One thing I have learned is that one person’s recollection of a time or event will nearly always vary drastically from another person’s memory just because of their personal perspective on the situation.) Since these two brothers are 12 and 10 years older than I am, my memories of them at home are from the viewpoint of a small child. I’m sure I probably bugged them a lot, like little sisters would, and most definitely was spoiled. Glenn was the one who would sometimes help get me ready to go someplace by brushing my hair, etc. And, I’m pretty sure, he once got a ticket when he got caught driving me the four country miles to grandma’s house when he was only 14. Glenn was always teasing and and fun to be around. Once he slipped a mouse into his lunch pail to surprise mom when she opened it after he got home. Bill was home for a couple of years longer than Glenn and I remember him helping me with my 4-H projects like photography and the calves. He also surprised me one time with a black bunny that was my pet (until our black cat found it!). I think I may have sat on Bill’s lap in the driver’s seat of the car a time or two to steer while we drove (slowly) the last 1/4 mile in the country to our house and I think I remember something about heading right toward the windmill until he moved the steering wheel in the right direction. After they both grew up, got married, and had homes of their own, it was always fun to visit – there were lots of fun times spent with my small nieces and nephews who are now all grown up too! I actually lived with Bill and Edith for a few months while I did my student teaching at Millard and then later for a couple of months before my wedding. One funny episode (now as I look back) was when Bill and I got into my car in his driveway and I backed directly into his little VW that was parked behind me and both of us were completely surprised that it was there. I’ve traveled to Europe with both of them: with Bill in 1971 along with the school group he was sponsoring as a young teacher to 6 European countries and with Glenn in 2003 along with friends and family to Ireland, Wales, England and France. They, along with my other brother and sister, were there as we struggled with the illnesses and loss of our parents and to form a different type of relationship as adult siblings. Now we see each other at family events like graduations and weddings and also make a point to spend time together. I’ve got new memories of recent events that make me smile – like driving his fishing boat in Alaska and later getting stuck in the sand on the beach in Glenn’s pick-up and taking in a Husker football game with Bill. One good thing about being a little sister is that you will ALWAYS have big brothers – no matter how old you get!