My brother Paul paved my way into this world . He vacated our mother’s womb 11 months before I was born. That’s called Irish Twins. Every September on my Birthday I think of my brother even though I have not heard from him for years. This past September I thought, “I am 70 today, and so is Paul. Until October when he will be older than me again.”
When I was a kid Paul was my hero. He defended me against my younger brother John who ran after me with a brick. He was also the one who went from bed to bed wiggling our toes until we got up at 5 am on Christmas morning. I remember the summer in Rhode Island when he saved a neighbor boy from being stuck in quick sand.
When I was much older and living with my then boyfriend now husband of forty-plus years, I asked Paul for some advice. My boyfriend needed to decide between his former fiancé and me. He needed to see her again before he could commit to me. The thing is she was flying in from Germany for this visit. Staying in the apartment next to ours for a few weeks! Should I say, “Fuck you” and leave? My brother chuckled and said … “I’m sorry if it wasn’t so sad it is actually funny. But hold your ground. This is your apartment and your man. Once she is gone then you can do whatever you want to.” So I held my ground. My husband and I still get a Christmas card every year from Germany.