Oh, Brother…



I received word yesterday that my brother, Ted, is in the hospital, and has been moved to Intensive Care. We’re all sending good thoughts his way, and hoping for the best outcome.

The boys in my family were raised in a kind of parallel universe; our paths rarely crossed.

They seemed, on the one hand, to live a life of privilege, with few, seasonal, chores to do while the girls were usually elbow deep in dirty diapers, dishes or laundry. On the other hand, they were expected to know how to troubleshoot, maintain and repair any machinery they used, and to help with things – like roofing and butchering – that the girls were, for the most part, spared.

The seven girls in our family had two upstairs bedrooms. We had to be careful of heavy footfalls, but if we kept the flashlight under the covers and kept our voices low, we could talk, play games or read long into the night. We shared secrets, made plans and forged bonds that would carry us through a lifetime, in those nighttime hours.

Though ten years apart, the two boys shared a bedroom on the first floor of our house, right next to the bedroom my parents shared. There was little opportunity for play or camaraderie there!

When I look at Ted’s life, I worry that it has not been a fulfilling one. I remind myself, my vision is limited. I see my brother Ted through my own filter, and mainly at family gatherings. As I write, I realize that he could look at my life with the same concerns!

Ted has a wonderful wife and two strong, intelligent children that we are all proud of, and that he has a great relationship with. He has friends and associations that reach well beyond the family circle. He’s a hunter and a fisherman. Ted is a reader, with an interest in history and current events. He has other hobbies and interests that keep him entertained. He makes the best of the life he’s been given.

This morning, I’m sending out lots of healing energy and all my best wishes that he has plenty more opportunity for doing just that!

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

7 responses »

    • It’s a shame, really…for the boys, mostly, I think…but more common than I’d have imagined. I was raised in the 1950s…you seem younger? I often though much had to do with the times.

      • I was born in the 60’s….so this carried over into the 70’s . And beyond….. πŸ˜‰

        Fortunately my brothers were independent and could do all of the things they needed to do…..maybe the wives had something to do with that? πŸ˜‰

      • Our rule of thumb when raising our own kids was to make ensure that they didn’t NEED a husband or wife to survive…so, boys could do laundry and cook a meal, girls could check their oil, change a tire…sounds like baby steps now, but in the seventies when I was raising my daughters, it was new thinking!

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