This I Believe

Curtis - Rancho Mirage, California
Entered on January 9, 2008

My life revolves around family. Almost everything I do includes another relative in our connected bloodline. For the most part, the folks in my family loved to spend time with one another. But like in most large families, there is generally one relationship that struggles to coexist. This type of relationship can be one of many. Mother to daughter, cousin to cousin or even husband to wife are just a few of the possibilities. I had always heard of these problems within a family, and reacted with a lucky feeling that it wasn’t me who felt the pain. Little did I know the pain was on its way in full throttle.

It began in grade school when I learned that my older brother would not be a positive in my life. For some unknown reason I would antagonize him to a level where physicality was the only way to be heard. To this day I still wonder about the hours of therapy that couldn’t find the answer. Looking back, I can see we had similar interests. We played on the same youth basketball team. Both of us excelled in the field of mathematics and loved to practice our times tables. And every day after a long session at school, we would sit down to a delicious meal of cookies and milk while watching our favorite cartoons. So why did we decide to not get along? Why did I run my mouth and bruises for it? At first I blamed the issue on immaturity and thought we would simply grow out of it. Then it continued to our teens and I knew we had a serious problem.

The summer before my senior year I was house sitting for friends of my father. My brothers came down for one weekend to enjoy the house that no parents were to be found. It took only two days for me to pick a fight and throw my older brother out. He had to drive two hours in the middle of the night because we could not find a way to get along. While I felt so guilty that night, I made myself a challenge. I set a goal to honestly put time into making the relationship between myself and my brother work. I believe that when a person seriously puts the things in life that are not as important aside, great achievements can occur. The concept can sound so simple, but think of all the things a person does in a day. How many of those things occur because of a motivated desire and not need? Spending the time to love my brother was not easy. I believe that because I have made sacrifices, my brother and I get along today. The only conclusion I have come to see is that our competitive nature clashed heads too many times. I put my ego aside and spent the time to find ways to which my brother and I can be brothers instead of enemies.