When I was in my early twenties, my younger brother left home; simply packed a backpack one day and left.
The day before he left, we had a fight. Five years younger than me and still under the legal age, I came home to find he’d drank all the beer in my apartment. He scoffed when I scolded him. In a moment of indignant anger, I yelled at him to leave and made sure to add he would not be invited to return.
I didn’t see him for 6 months after that.
Rebellious and always a private individual, I had no idea my brother was struggling with things too heavy to bear and I never once thought that I could lose him.
Days passed and then weeks. Phone calls were sporadic. The toll it took on my family was obvious. I replayed that conversation over and over, blaming myself for pushing him to pack that bag.
I knew he was “out there” but not sure where. I knew he was “living” but not sure what life, I knew he was “experimenting” but not sure with what. One day, on my way to a meeting I turned my head at the right time and there, in the corner between a building and an alleyway stood my brother.
In a rush I felt six months’ worth of emotions wash over me.
I was shocked to see him, intimidated by the massive colored spikes on his head and lining the shoulders of his jacket, and thankful that he was just an arm’s length away.
I bought him a meal, I gave him a hug, and I told him I loved him and that I wanted my brother back. That meeting didn’t turn things around right then, but I’d like to think it did remind him who he was to me.
Eventually I got him back; and a new perspective. Every time I fly home for a visit, my brother waits for me at the airport, and just like that moment in the alley, he catches me by surprise. In that moment, I feel the tingling emotions return.
In that moment, I am thankful to have him just an arm’s length away.
By: Tamara Raynor-Cote
Originally from the Canadian Prairies, Tamara now calls Tel Aviv home and finds her peace beside the sea. An avid reader and poetry lover Tamara always carries a journal with her---- because you never know when inspiration will strike. She loves pushing her physical boundaries and recently bought a skateboard just for the challenge!