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second choice

this afternoon i came across a gift book from my mother -- you know the type: small, pastel, usually hardcover, full of poems and quotes on a theme. she's given me quite a few of these over the years (since i graduated from high school), but the one i'm referring to is called "to a wonderful daughter" or something along those lines.

my brother and my mother had a special relationship. as a child and as a teenager, i never felt like anything i could ever do would ever elevate me in her eyes. if i did something, he did it better. he was the nice and smart one. i, i proclaimed to anyone who would listen, was the village idiot. every household needs one.

thrown together by circumstance, i've wondered many, many times over the last 15 years -- if my brother were still alive, would she even give me a second look? you may think i'm being unfair to her -- i probably am -- but i grew up with these people and i know how i felt.

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