Happy birthday, little brother. I miss you.
You aren't that far away. Only in NYC. But there, in your fancy Brooklyn neighborhood, you might as well be a million miles away from me.
Or from Mom for that matter. She's only in the Bronx. But you seldom if ever see her.
You'll spend tons of money on her as needed. Pay for any care she needs. I appreciate that. But it's your presence and that of your children she longs for and doesn't get.
The Man and I and our girls have spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mom, and with Dad before he left us. It's precious time our girls will remember forever.
You're never there. Haven't been for years. It's either your country house in PA, or a hockey tournament in Canada or some other thing.
The last time my daughters saw your sons and daughter was at Daddy's funeral last year. And sadly, they prefer it that way.
It's okay for them. They have tons of other cousins. They have aunts and uncles who love them, including an aunt and uncle and cousins who aren't even blood relatives, but still feel like family.
Whereas your 3 are just their relatives.
It makes up for a lot for me too. I have brother-in-laws who are my true brothers, whom I can talk to in ways I can't talk to you anymore. A very special sister in law and a very beloved friend who ARE my sisters. Nephews and nieces upon whom to lavish the love I would have liked to give YOUR kids.
But I don't know them. Any love I feel for them is because they are your kids. Because you are my brother and because once, a long time ago, we shared a very happy family life--a life that I think you don't remember the way you should.
I know I'll see you whenever Mom has a health crisis and you'll be there as needed, but will leave the bulk of it to me. I know that when she goes (please not yet!) it will be up to the Man and me to manage a great deal of what will needed to be done, even though we live 250 miles away. And I'll do it gladly, especially if it means keeping your selfish wife out of it. She's fond of Mom, but she doesn't love her.
You do. And Mom really loves you and misses you. So did Daddy. It broke my heart that I was there at the nursing home and he was wondering where YOU were.
And I miss you too, as you were. Not as you are now.
All my love,
Your Big Sister