My little brother, Nick got married a couple of weeks ago! I watched him and only him as his bride came down the aisle. He was happier than I'd ever seen him. And it was all I could do not to bawl my eyes out while standing as one of the bridesmaids. But know this about me: when I'm in a wedding, I am not overly emotional. Maybe throughout the day I can get all sentimental but the ceremony itself, no mascara runs then. ever! When I'm a guest at a wedding, I totally get those fuzzy feelings during the ceremony and may have to dab at a tear or two while sitting next to my own groom. But this wedding played on my emotions unlike any other.
You see, Nick and I go way back. Like 25 years! I used to call him 'Nicholas' until he demanded to be called 'Nick' and he has always called me 'Lin'. Nick and I have been the best of friends and the worst of enemies! Growing up, one of our favorite things to do together was play legos (yes, I loved playing with Legos equally as much as I loved playing with barbies) And when he'd let me, once in a while I would make a mean pasture on his farmland. As we grew, we enjoyed many of the same movies: The Sound of Music (we always dreamed of being the VonTrapp Family!), The Parent Trap, Free Willy, Annie, Sister Act, The National Lampoons.... Nick was good for playing 'house' with my sister and I, too, and I was actually his first 'bride'! There were also maaannnny times that we did NOT get along. I could never stand the sound of him breathing (ridiculous, I know), or the way he got sweaty when he was sleeping, and I know that he would use my loofa in the shower even though he always denied it (SICKO!). But we got along with each other when it really counted. There was this one time that we were wrestling over something upstairs and I guess he must have stumbled and he knocked out a spindle from under the banister. We immediately teamed together to put it back in place and colored the scratched wood with a brown marker. (I wonder if my dad has any knowledge of this?!) We bickered so much that even when we were 15 and 13, our grandma didn't dare to let us sit next to each other in the backseat of her car while visiting her in Florida. Which we thought was pretty funny since we probably hadn't physically fought in years.
Twenty five years.... You get to know a person really well in that many years and he knows me back. And maybe that's a typical brother-sister relationship but ours goes deeper than most. My sister, brother, and I have been through a lot! We have had so much laughter but also many tears. We've clung to each other in times of deep, intense pain. Something I'll never forget was when my parents told Nick that while away on his mission trip, our grandma had passed away. Our grandparents would have been SO PROUD of him on his wedding day. And as my parents went through their messy divorce, Katie, Nick, and I relied on each other and strengthened our bond ever more tightly. I cannot imagine that there is a sibling force greater than ours.
And as I watched him at this particular moment on his wedding day, I realized that he is a man! And he's not just this annoying, little brother anymore... he is my friend, too! And something about my role as a 'big sister' has changed. He doesn't really need big sisters anymore. He's got a new girl to boss him around, to listen to him breathe and snore, to get annoyed with his being sweaty and using her loofa. Not that I want any of these duties... don't get me wrong! It's just that things will never be the same. And these things have gradually changed over time. But as I watched him from the moment he laid eyes on her and throughout their reception (and after some obsessive sortings of my feelings) I was somewhat saddened. And finally, there was this realization that we're all grown up now. (Yes, it actually took some deep thinking to come to that conclusion!) Our sibling childhood is just a memory.
And we close that chapter in our lives.
I know we get to begin to write another chapter, but something inside of me is a little sad that the other had to end. And a little part of me had to give up a part of him to his new bride.
That all being said,
here's to Nick and his new wife, Rachel, who I know he will honor and respect and cherish and love with all of his heart. Because he was able to love this bossy, irritable, big sister of his!