There are family members we are born with, family members we choose, family members we have thrust upon us. Family members we discard and have taken from us without our choosing.
I've had all the above, and most are outside the scope of this post (gotta edit, y'all). So I'll focus on one of each from the first two.
My big brother and sister-in-law were beyond kind to house and feed me on my Farewell Tour's swing through Kentucky. And it was all bliss (especially the bed--I didn't feel a single coilwire)--except for one moment, the specific drivers of which aren't relevant here. Bottom line was, I got cranky. And rather than complain (more) I simply removed myself from the situ. Mature adult that I am.
15 minutes later big bro knocks on my guest bedroom door and asks if everything is okay, they were wondering where I'd gone, and I'm welcome to come back to the living room. Also super mature and adult-like.
Yet I felt like I'd been pouting. Or maybe it seemed that way.
For all my maturity and adult-like tendencies I can still feel like the 8 year old me, babysitee of a sib twice my age. Funny how we can fall back into those old ways of thinking. I wonder if Jeb Bush feels insecure at the dinner table when dad and W share old work stories.
Then 9 more hours on the road took me to my brother from another mother (and his lovely wife's) home just outside Washington DC. I love these people--and their guest bed. Memory foam brought back...memories?
He and I met through work and bonded over bad management and co-worker contempt (I was a hater, I admit--I'd be nicer nowadays but it is what it is). Years passed, jobs came and went but the bond remained. He was there for me through my divorce (and was the first to notice the toxicity between X and me), I was in his bachelor party and wedding party. He thinks more like me than anyone I've known and vice versa. I think we've made each other better--steel sharpens steel and such.
I'm blessed and fortunate for the brothers I was born with and the one I chose. No matter how much I aspire to DGAF, I'll always give at least a fuck or two about what they think. I want to make them as proud as they make me.
And I'll miss the hell out of them both (and my baby brother, too--Lord knows if I left him out I'd not hear the end of it).