To My Brothers, With Love!


A sisters account on the many lessons she learned while trying to survive life with 5 brothers!

For all the articles and research out there that speaks about how important and vital relationships are between a girl and her dad, there are countless lessons to be learned from the relationships that a girl has with the other men in her life. Her brothers.

Here are what my 5 brothers, "The Wolves" taught me.

Michael: Practice makes perfect.
My oldest brother lived at home while he went to graduate school. During this time, he must have spent THOUSANDS of hours helping me with my childhood softball career. If it weren’t for him, I would never have perfected my pitch! He was my personal catcher as we practiced EVERY day in our parents’ front yard. His quest of continued education has taught me that persistence is key to get what you want in life. And with TWO PhD’s (Philosophy and Theology), this guy knows what persistence is about.

Bill: You can be serious with a helping of silly.
Bill helped out a lot with picking me up from sporting events. But what made his help ‘interesting’ was HOW he picked me up. On a sunny, clear day, he would pull up with his lights flashing, windshield wipers swiping, and radio blaring! He was serious when he needed to be when working as a Police Officer, but knew that there is a time to cut loose and be funny. Humor is good.

John: Fight for what you believe in, no matter what.
John has always wanted to be a Firefighter. He started out on his journey as a Junior Firefighter in our neighborhood. He responded to the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and continues to serve our community as a Professional in Arlington, VA. He brings this sense of right and wrong to all aspects of his life. When he makes mistakes, he owns up to them and makes amends. His desire to stay the course even when the odds seem stacked against you has shown to me what it takes to achieve your dreams.

Matt: Give it your best shot.
Matt played hockey like nobody’s business! He went to high school for this talent in Lake Placid, played hockey in college, and then went onto Canada in hopes of beginning a career in the NHL. Even though his journey did not take him into the Professional Leagues, his passion and desire to give his all was not lost on his little sister. If you want something bad enough, you have to give 100% of your time and heart. That way, no matter what happens, you know that you gave it your best shot.

Paul: In the face of adversity and struggle, keep going.
My little brother. My first best friend. My buddy and companion throughout the early years. I cannot think of any childhood memories that do not include him. Paul has Alopecia, and as a child, being different is hard, especially when it is something that can seen on the outside. I could not always be there to fend off the mean kids although I was always ready to defend him- with either my words or my fist. Paul persevered through the snickering and snide comments from those around him, and I suspect this led him to find out who his real friends were.
He is married now and has a child of his own. She is the apple of his eye and I know that he teaches her the importance of not judging a person by their looks, and that being nice to people even when others may not be is important.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. Just a glimpse into my upbringing with the animals that I call my brothers. I hope that they know how much they mean to me and how much I love them. I hope that I can be as good of a sibling to them as they have been to me. Especially now that we are all adults with lives of our own.

We have to work harder to stay connected.

We get together as much as we can and most summers, we have a family camping trip. Those times are priceless to me. I find it humorous that we haven’t really changed all that much. It is comforting that even with all the passing years, experiences we had, losses we have experienced, that at the end of the day, we are happy to just be in each other’s presence.

We are siblings.

Our own little club, minus the secret handshake, although that would be kinda cool, too.