Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sentimental Sunday - SAS

Okay, so last week I laid claim to the creation of a new Blogging Theme - Sentimental Sunday - and then today I had a full day of BUSYNESS, and, although it was in the back of my mind all day, just didn't get around to doing the post. So, I decided to put if off til next week, but then.... I had to go and open my reader, and the first thing I saw was a Sentimental Sunday post by my genea-buddy, Luckie Daniels. So, with guilt setting in, let me get to typing before the clock strikes 12!

This Sunday, I want to honor the memory of my brother, Arthur, who was just 17 months older than I, and who passed away at the age of 23 from liver cancer. Arthur and I were like twins. We were so close in age that we did everything together. We had the same friends in the neighborhood, were just a grade apart in school, and fought like cats and dogs (lol), like all loving siblings do. :) Arthur is the only person with whom I shared my entire childhood. He knew all of my secrets, and I knew his. We shared the joys and pains of growing up in our rather dysfunctional family, and we provided that quiet, but solid support for each other through it all.
Arthur and I grew up in a time when kids made fun out of anything, and that's exactly what we did. We were Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack ("Where is the Love?) and Cowboys and Indians. We built tents on our stairway, played hide-and-seek in the house, slid down the banister when our parents weren't looking, and competed to see who could jump from the highest step - and land on their feet. But one of my most cherished memories of fun times with my brother are those of us sneaking late night snacks after everyone in the house had gone to bed. Here's how it worked:

Arthur's room and mine were on opposite sides of the staircase, but our closet walls met above the front foyer. We would set our game plan before saying goodnight, and at an appointed time, we'd each go into our closets and listen for the special knock that meant the other was there, too. It was my job to check to be sure that my parents' door was closed, since my room was next to theirs, and Arthur would make sure that neither of my older brothers were around (which they never were). When the coast was clear, we'd knock in unison, and then creep out of our rooms to meet at the top of the stairs. One of us would go to the bathroom (so as to be able to flush the toilet for noise) while the other crept quietly down the steps to get our snack, which one of us had usually conveniently hidden in one of a few places downstairs. (Our favorite spot was the big wooden Dutch shoes that sat very close to the staircase in the dining room.) With the lookout standing just inside the bathroom door at the top of the stairs, the other would creep quietly back up, pass over the shared snack, and we'd each retreat back to our closets to eat it!

I can't quite figure out why Arthur and I had to go to these ends just to have a snack, but for us, the thrill of the adventure was worth it. Sometimes, I think my parents had to know what we were up to, but I guess as long as we weren't bothering them, they just let us have our fun!

My brother has been gone now for 25 years, but I think of him and miss him dearly every single day.