When I say “I didn’t kill my brother,” it’s not a statement made in denial or defense. Rather, the declaration is one said in shock and celebration.
Recently I road tripped with one of my brothers to New Mexico where we scattered my mother’s ashes. The fact that neither of us attempted to end the other’s life along the way was, to the relief of most family members, astonishing. Frankly, it surprised us too. I had told my husband at an Easter gathering that my only concern about the trip was trying to figure out just where I would dump the body after I “offed” my brother. For a moment when he smirked I actually thought he was on board in trying to help me solve this dilemma. Instead, he replied, “Your brother just said that exact same thing to me about you a minute ago in the other room.” But our tale of survival wasn’t the only surprise that came out of this trip. There were a few other revelations and reminders of life’s lessons.
order lasix online is it safe to buy topamax online Some great memories come from not-so-good decisions. My brother and I had planned to make the drive to New Mexico in a Jeep Cherokee. We were taking the route through Colorado and thought it was a practical choice for the risky weather conditions that mountains may present. But on the way to pick up our rental, we recognized the rarity and significance of a trip like this and at the last minute, opted to upgrade to a ride that matched our visions of grandeur- a convertible mustang. As my brother and I walked to get the car, we each envisioned the car’s color. His – a manly steel gray. Mine – lipstick red. Much to our surprise, the folks at Thrifty felt we were more fitted for one in the flamboyant color of electric blue. Yup, Electric Blue. We were in shock (no pun intended). Well, in shock while doubled over in laughter. Not only was the color unexpected, but when deciding to upgrade we never took into consideration trunk size. My brother’s suitcase wouldn’t fit. Watching in amusement as my brother jammed his belongings into the back seat of this mobile ad for the 80s (remember the hit song by Icehouse?), I was reminded that life doesn’t always go as planned, but sometimes it’s better that way.
Siblings are people just like you and me. If your family openly showed affection toward each other, you may have experienced blurred lines and been both family and a friend to your siblings. My brother and I typically remained in the traditional, family-defined roles. I looked at him as the big brother who acted like he always knew better, but didn’t. And I’m fairly certain he considered me (and probably still does) the spoiled, annoying, emotional little sister. Teasing with sarcasm was the basis of most of our verbal exchanges. Therefore, it’s in my not-even-close-to-being-a professional psychoanalytic opinion that neither of us confided in each other about any internal strife for fear of confirming perceptions of each other or providing a platform for our next sarcastic dual. Yet in recent years our conversations have become more in-depth, more sincere, more – grown up. Maybe it’s because we saw each other differently when having to make difficult decisions regarding my mother during her declining health. Or maybe it has to do with us reaching middle age and realizing our own mortality. But on this trip we both opened up about some of our fears, our worries and our hopes for the future. Doing so finally made it apparent to me that my brother was more than just a sibling. He was a person facing many of the same silent struggles and asking the same life questions as me. And, at the risk of confirming that I am indeed that emotional little sister, it was a nice surprise that instead of sarcasm, we exchanged words of support.
Road trips can be a spiritual journey, just keep your expectations to a minimum. A spiritual journey involves facing the fears of the unknown and relying on self-reflection to find the answers. It’s about coming to terms with past pains and actually feeling them in order to heal rather than relying on the external interferences of daily life as a distraction. It’s achieving that moment of self-discovery when you realize that who you are, without material items or social acceptance, is enough to be happy and live the life God granted to be unique for you. That’s a boatload to accomplish in a week-long road trip. I’m not saying it’s not possible to make changes or gain better awareness of your path in life over the period of seven days. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t necessarily start your trip as Diane Prince and expect to return as Wonder Woman. I know, because I thought I could do it.
Setting off on this road trip I felt the same way I do every Sunday. THIS will be the week I get my shit together. THIS will be the week I turn over a new leaf and treat my body as a temple. THIS will be the week that I discover my life’s passion. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Well, guess what. Swedish Fish sat front and center on the car’s console throughout our travels. I channeled the spirit of a Minute-to-Win-It contestant as I tried to bag the garbage I’d strewn all over the car before our resort’s valet abducted it. And the only passion I discovered was my love for fried bread and honey. I didn’t get my shit together. But what I did get was a change of scenery. Maybe it was being in the mountains closer to the Almighty or just the thinner air at the higher altitude, but I definitely saw my life from an enlightened perspective. Yet, while I set out seeking a spiritual transformation during our journey, I pretty much returned home as the same person I was when I left. The difference is that now I’m okay with that. Huh, what a revelation.
Please note that despite the title of this post, no brother was harmed during the travels of the aforementioned road trip.