Within the last week, I've had a chance to connect with both my big brother and my baby brother. Kody, the youngest of our sibling group, delivers travel trailers all across the country, and he sporadically swings through the metroplex. We offer him a listening ear, a warm bed, and a hot shower before he heads out early for his next haul. Kody's motor runs very fast. Due to PTSD from our childhood abuse and his time as an U.S. Airmen deployed to Afghanistan, he oozes with anxiety—vigilantly looking for an enemy around every corner. However, he's also witty and big-hearted. Taken in small doses, I enjoy his brief company.
My older brother, Keith, happens to be my only sibling who still lives in my hometown of Lefors, Texas—population 472. This week he sent a handwritten letter he'd crafted to announce he was running for the local city council again. He requested I type up the letter and email it to the local newspaper on his behalf. Computers are vexing contraptions in his world. Keith is an alcoholic. Almost seven years ago he had a drunk driving accident that damn near took his life. He's now raising his three boys in a community where time stands still. He is civic minded and would stop to help any stranger fix a flat tire. Sometimes I think Keith is a good man. Other times I have my doubts.
What I know for sure is that we are trauma bonded. My life is better and worse because they are in it. And I am grateful.