ONE BROTHER is my Twin
NO SISTERS. BUT, OH, DID I WISH FOR ONE.
Three pregnancies, Four babies. Each of my mother's pregnancies were four years apart which made it difficult to develop closeness as we were growing up. Of course that is only one of the reasons! My oldest brother was eight years older than me. And, my next brother was four years older. Surprise - surprise, my twin was my age. And, yes we are fraternal twins!! I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I have been asked if we were identical twins. Not so much these days because I think people are a lot more knowledgeable about science.
I don't know a lot about my oldest brothers growing up years other than what I learned later in life. When he was a little boy he developed Bilateral Mastoiditis which is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone. It sits behind the ear and has air spaces that help drain the middle ear. If not treated is can spread outside of the mastoid bone and cause serious conditions including deafness and meningitis. At that time, surgery was the treatment of the day. Surgery was considered very serious and it was very expensive. Following the surgery he had to wear a helmet to protect his head/brain from any impact injury that could kill him. Some deafness persisted through his life.
He was not a strong and robust child and was not able to be involved in the usual boyhood activities. His young life was filled with physical abuse as well as emotional. When he was old enough to get a job, our father took his wages because of the medical bills when he had mastoiditis! Horrid, absolutely - Horrid! Our mother was super religious and at some point during his life (maybe high school) he was sent to seminary to become a Minister. He hated it and returned home after a year.
He was drafted into the Army (even with his partial deafness) and served for three years in the Korean Conflict. He worked in clerical positions.
His gift of Musical Talent and Absolute Pitch (gene inherited from mother - father was pitch tone deaf ) was wonderful for it gave him a great deal of enjoyment. He was very accomplished with piano and organ and performed many concerts as well as church organist for years. I will always remember hearing him play all the beautiful Classical Masterpieces like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin and so many more.
He was very kind, thoughtful, loving, generous, curious, supportive, hard working and had a great sense of humor. We had many phone conversations and we laughed a lot. Through the years I was able to drive to Oregon and visit for a few days.
He was the only family member that I had a healthy relationship with. Sadly, we did not have more time.
He was very intelligent and eventually became a very successful Computer Software Developer in the 70's with his own company and worked as an Independent Contractor. Eventually, he married at age 39 and they had a lovely home in Portland, Oregon. He was very outspoken about NEVER wanting children for fear he may not be able to be a good parent because of his childhood experience. So Sad.
Unfortunately, he suffered for five years fighting Metastatic Cancer. But, at age 65, he passed away from an Aorta Rupture while away in an Arizona Airport when he was on a business trip in 1997. I miss him So Very Much.
There are many adjectives for a middle brother. In my situation, I think the most accurate would be INVISIBLE. I would say "He kinda slipped under the radar". I would say he was the least scathed by the family dysfunction. I recall that he did not get along with my older brother and they fought a lot.
My recollection of him is of a Very Good Looking Young Boy who had lots of friends and was away from home a lot. His physique was very compatible with being a football player in High School where he was very popular with the girls. He was active in Student Body affairs and was President of his Senior Class. He worked an afternoon and weekend job in a large Garden Center/Nursery and developed an interest in Horticulture and Forestry.
He served three years in the Military in Korea when he was drafted by the Army. He was near the dangerous 38th Parallel which marks the boundary between North Korea and South Korea.
Eventually, he attended University of California Berkeley and earned his Bachelor's Degree. As mentioned he was interested in Forestry but determined that employment would be more profitable in business. His professional career took him to employment with IBM where he was able to obtain his Masters Degree in Computer Technology paid for by his employer. He remained with IBM until retirement.
He also was married and decided that he also would not have children! They built a house within commuter distance of San Jose IBM in Santa Cruz Mountains (which fed his love of Forestry). Not long after retirement he became ill and passed away at age 68. I do not know the cause, but I do know it had something to do with the abdomen.
We definitely were not close. He had very little to do with me through the years other then when as a little girl, he tried to molest me - and I ran like Hell!
Additional Note. My siblings and I were expected to have an education beyond High School. But, under no circumstances were we going to receive any financial help from our parents. We worked a lot at home taking care of many things and had after school jobs as soon as old enough. We also worked a lot of jobs to pay for our advanced education. For some reason, it seemed as though we seldom were able to please our parents. And, unfortunately, there really wasn't a bond with one another.
Well, there will be more to come another day.
Have a Good Week.