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with my brother {self-portrait challenge}

liz lamoreux

Matt and Liz market

With my baby brother

(Though fall does seem to have arrived in the Seattle area, this picture was actually taken last winter. I tried to get my brother to pose for a picture today but he just wasn’t feeling all that photogenic so I am sharing this one.)

I spent part of the day with my brother today. It was an unexpected gift in the midst of the craziness of things lately. We had lunch and did a little bumming around Portland. And at some point, in the middle of the afternoon, I had this realization, “my brother is an adult.”

I feel lucky to know him and to call him my friend. He is pursuing his dreams in a way that makes me stand back and grin. He has realized he has a gift and he is using it. It really is quite fantastic and inspiring.

We spent part of the afternoon with Alexandra and she was asking us about our relationship. As we talked, Matt and I had this realization that we don’t really have a lot of baggage about one another. There have been times when we haven’t been as close or have bugged each other in the way that happens when you are siblings, but we don’t really have a lot of “stuff” within our relationship. We may have feelings about the roles we play in our family, but when it comes to me and my brother sitting and talking…well, we just seem to get it. I think that this is partly because we have other stuff to deal with in our lives and we are the kind of people who just realize that it is easier to support one another than find reasons not to care and love. Even though we may have chosen different paths (and he is a lot cooler than me), we can meet in this safe place.

The image that comes to mind is that in my family I have often felt like I am on an island sitting in the dark. The way I look at the world; the way I want to talk about things; the kinds of relationships I have with people – how I want to just move on past the crap and get to the good stuff; the beliefs I have; the books I read; and on and on…these things have invited me to feel a bit apart. But in the midst of today I felt as though my brother arrived with a flashlight and some candles and said, “Hey, you weren’t ever really alone, you just forgot to call out for me. I was here the whole time.”

And that is a really beautiful gift.