Sunday, 12 August 2007

Thirty: See my bro again

My brother and I have always been very close, and losing our parents while still only in our early thirties, cemented this bond even more.

In 1986 I emigrated from South Africa to England, and since then have only seen my bro sporadically. I know there are lots of families where siblings don't communicate very well, or see each other often, and I feel sorry for them, as we are best friends. Over the past 21 years we have both missed so much time together, although thanks to relatively cheap international phone cards, we talk every week. But somehow it's just not the same.

I used to travel to see him quite often, but since my back surgery I cannot manage long journeys, so he comes here. He tries to come every year or 18 months and for this I am very grateful. He only manages about 10 days at a time and this speeds past within an instant.

We 'connect' immediately and start a 'downhill race' against the clock. How does one cram the past year, into such a short time? I get so weary from the excitement, urgency and whirl of him being here, but I hate going off and sleeping as this seems to waste more valuable time. I feel like a thirsty person gasping for a few sips of precious water. The expectancy of the arrival and the terrible anguish of the departure (which we have both learnt to hide in order not to upset one another) overwhelms me. After he leaves, I feel so wrung out, so unnerved, so upset, so incomplete, only to start all over again the next time.

He is the only living soul left in this whole crazy world who has shared my history, and I can't wait till we are together once more.