I mentioned that I was going to start to focus on some good memories in my childhood, because I honestly have very little, so I am digging for some gold nuggets. My childhood wasn’t bad, it was just very boring. I believe that counting my blessings is important and growing out of the negative and finding the positive is a great way to process my growth.
I have two older brothers named Barry and Jeff. One is close to 1o years older than me, the other is close to 7 years older. They were my heroes when I was a wee lass. My brother Jeff rescued me from death three times quite literally. Both of my brothers rescued me from a very lonely childhood as best as they could.
I wasn’t allowed out of the house pretty much ever. I would even sometimes ask my mom to go outside to play in the very large backyard we had, and she would say no because she was tired and wanted to nap. I was a bit of a wild child who would run around like crazy when outside (if you were practically a prisoner in your home, you would too). I was only outside when my brothers were staying in the yard playing catch or if Jeff was mowing the lawn. Otherwise I was doomed to occupy myself in my bedroom. If my dad wasn’t home, I’d watch movies or TV shows.
Since we have a large age gap, I was far too small when my brothers wanted their own freedoms as teenagers to hang out with them and their friends. I followed them around when they did have friends over.
Barry was leaving for college when I was entering second grade. When he returned on breaks, he really didn’t want to be around the rest of us, yet he offered to take me a few times on some snowy night walks with him. He’d hold a candle in an old fashioned looking candlestick holder, wear his long green trench coat, put his big hat on over his long red metal-styled hair, and away we’d go (I think the hat was Australian rather than Western. Also his very long hair is not shown in these photos). One time he tried to take me for a walk over the railroad tracks that was high up as the river flowed beneath it. I was really scared of that walk. Other times we’d just go around whatever direction he planned to go.
Both of my brothers love the woods. One time when I was 9 or 10, Jeff took me out for about three hours in the snow all around town and the next town over through the woods, over a frozen part of the river, and who knows where else. It was so beautiful. I had never seen such portions of my town as I did that day. I never really knew where he took me, but it was much fun, even if I was numb from the cold that I hated so much. I just wanted to get out, and he was willing to get me out. My mom trusted me with my brothers, thankfully.
Once my pre-teen years and early teen years came around, Jeff would take me on walks around town or to the nearby Blockbuster or Video Den where we’d rent some VHS tapes or he’d buy me or himself a CD. We did that for a few years in every season. I always enjoyed the time I got to spend with him on those walks. There were only a couple of times the three of us would all go on walks together as well, but usually it was just me with one of them.
It is sweet that simple little acts of kindness my brothers gave to me mean so much to me. My mom did take me on a few walks as well, but it was usually simply around the block and she did not do it all that often at all. My brothers would drive me places as well, even if it was just at the mall for a short while. They were always so considerate of me and were the ones who asked me if I wanted to go places with them. If one of them wanted to go out, they’d look at me and say, “Want to come with me?” I have heard of siblings whining about taking their little kid siblings out, but I can’t recall my brothers doing that with me. They certainly spent much time out with friends they had as well, and I gave them their space to do that, but I so wanted to be in their circles.
Now that I am older, they have let me know that they did what they did because they felt it was sad that I was never allowed out. They have told me that they didn’t like how I was so sheltered. I am glad they tried to release me from my bondage to the best of their abilities. It is no wonder why I feel as if I suffocate when I am inside as an adult and why I still prefer being outside as much as I can today. Thanks to my big brothers, I have a sense of adventure and am thankful for the walks they took me on.
Now in my adult life, Barry has taken me on a few walks (with my boys too). I really liked that the journey continues. I am sure Jeff would do the same (but he lives nearly two hours away now). I am so thankful God gave me my big brothers. I love them very much.