My little brother is married!

I am so far behind on writing this post (not to mention my last race, which was now almost a month ago–I’m sure you’re dying for another race update). A few weeks ago, I flew to Austin, TX to see truckloads of my favorite family members (turns out, there are a lot of us) & also to see my little brother Tom marry my awesome sister-in-law Linda. First, let me say–I do not get to see these all these relatives enough, that’s for sure! And the time just sped by, so that on the plane back I just kept thinking, “Oooh, I wish I had a chance to have a conversation with her/him!” But it was beyond awesome to get to talk to the people I did, to have a few days with my family, to celebrate two people I care so much about! And did I mention the food, the drink, the karaoke, the live band, the Texas-sized sunsets? I will try not to mention the heat.

I had not been emotional leading up to the wedding. Living far away from my family, you tend to forget huge things are happening when you’re not there. I mean, I booked the flight and everything, sort of had my dress altered (though hadn’t yet bought the shoes), and took two vacation days well in advance. Why should I be emotional, you ask? Well, because put me in the middle of a huge family event, and my sensitive side suddenly comes bursting out. If you talk to me on a daily basis, you may notice I have no emotions, other than laughing (at you probably)–so you may find it shocking that I can break down in an instant given the right circumstances. I told myself about this wedding, though, “Don’t break down. No tears. It’s a happy time.” It would be one thing if I didn’t approve of the bride, but somehow John and Tom have found perhaps the only two girls that exist that I would deem worthy of my brothers (I hold my brothers in high regard if you didn’t know this about me).

But on the wedding day, I looked over the reading I had to do, put together a little card for my brother–and my emotions just got the best of me. When you are a witness to something really important in someone’s life, you can’t help but think of all the ways in which they are important to you, and there’s no one who shares as many memories as a sibling does. Tom is my best friend, but he is more than that, too, in a way that I couldn’t really describe to anyone that makes any sense. I can’t list here all the things we’ve shared–just the two of us–that to me, make us so much better than any other big sis/lil bro duo out there. It would just come off sounding like a list, and it’s so much more meaningful than that.

There is an 8 year age difference between us, which of course made a difference in the beginning–when I drove him around in my car & we went to see movies–or I dragged him out with my college buddies to some horrible rock festival. But since I’ve left Texas, he’s visited me everywhere I’ve lived: Seattle, New York, L.A.–often multiple times & the age difference is no longer apparent (wait, does that make me just extremely immature?). He’s accompanied me on the most hilarious road trip ever undertaken from TX to Manhattan. It’s memory upon memory of awesome things but often just really mundane things–a dinner out, a trip to the movies, a trip to the bookstore, a basketball game. He, like my big brother, can inspire me, mock me, make me laugh harder than anyone I know. What is really amazing about him, though, is what a HUGE heart he has. It is apparent in the way he treats everyone, but not in a showy way that would necessary require a shout out. It is just who he is. And anything great that happens to him is something great for me to see as well. It’s the joy of seeing a really good person find happiness. I don’t know if there’s anything better than that!

So of course, this leads me to breaking down as I walk down the aisle (let’s not even imagine what will happen the day I walk down the aisle as a bride–you may want to just wheel me out as I cry curled up in a ball with gratitude). It’s just all the memories combined with that sisterly love hit me at once, and there I am–shrugging my shoulders and apologizing to both Tom and the crowd. I would love to say after the wedding was over, I got myself under control & was able to detach from these emotions. But for whatever reason, every time I saw him, the tears started coming back. And of course Tom being Tom didn’t act like it was weird, or tell me to stop, or wonder why his sister was embarrassing him like this–he just gave me a hug. Because I like to think he understands what the tears are for, even though I didn’t quite get it. I was so proud, which is exactly the feeling I remember having as I cried when I saw my BIG brother standing up at the alter. You sort of secretly think your goofball brothers will never find someone with the patience to endure them. And then when they did, thank goodness, they were smart enough to make sure those ladies never got away.

So finally, I flew back to L.A. and my emotions disappeared the next day when I had 80 campers staring at me again, ready for ANOTHER week of camp. I got busy with life & kind of relieved that I hadn’t permanently turned into an emotional mess. My tears have dried up and are hibernating until another wedding, funeral, graduation, etc comes along again. Please know that if you are around and there are tears, all they ever are is my warped way of showing how appreciative I am–to have known the people I know, to have the family I have, to feel the love I share with so many–maybe one day I’ll just be able to say “Thanks!” Or else, do you have some Prozac?