I am betting, hoping and sure my brothers don't read this. I am at liberty to be sappy without embarrassing them. A while back I wrote a little note about Christopher Sean. This one is for Peter James.
When I was young I thought my brother Peter's mail said Peter J. for "junior" and my father's Peter D. for "Dad." Peter is enormous, he played college football. His shoulders were and still are incredibly wide. In my book he always made actors playing Hercules look pitiful. He used to pretend when I hit him it hurt. Mom would dress me in maroon and white and we would cheer Peter on at Colgate after long hours of tailgating. It was a ton of fun, but I didn't like him playing football. I remember thinking it had to hurt and seeing him all torn up asleep on the couch in the living room. I remember his college graduation party, I was about five years old.
Pete would take me out to buy Mom Christmas and Mother's day presents. I used to stay up really late waiting for him to come home from school or Connecticut. He gave me my first computer, a Mac Classic, and my first iPod, GPS, Stereo, and my first CDs (10,000 Maniacs and The Proclaimers to be exact).
When I was seven he brought Janice home. I was instantly in love with her. She was sleeping and Mom told me to leave her alone. So I tied a note that read "get up and come downstairs" to a balloon and floated it over her bed. The Christmas after that Mom bought plastic champagne glasses in case there was an engagement. Seven years later there was.
Pete is successful and smart, he knows everything and loves researching information. When I see an interesting article, he's who I want to send it to. He isn't very good at backing up SUV's and tends to hit poles, my car or our Aunt's car. But that's okay, no one is ever in them when he does it.
This last weekend Pete helped me through my first half-marathon. I took a bus to NYC where he insisted on picking me up. As if he could be more of a super hero in my eyes, he is also capable of driving in the city. We hung out and drove home. There are few people on this planet I can talk with like I can with Pete and the others don't really compare because I value what Pete says about a million times more. I'm not aware of time when I am talking to my brother, it just flies by unnoticed.
I spend hours laughing at how cute he is with Jan and how amazing his kids are. I could listen to his youngest call me Aunt Mary every second for twenty-four hours and not once get annoyed, cause I love it. His kids love video games, Star Wars and Lego's. Jan makes my favorite food, I love my family.
On Sunday Pete and I head out to the race very early in the morning. Before I get out of the car he tells me he's proud of me. I'm nervous and he almost makes me cry. I run. At the finish line he's there with Jan and the kids, I was overwhelmed happy. Within five minutes we are planning the event for next year and he is going to run with me. He says I inspire him. He's out to make me cry.
My nephew helps me stretch in the water and we sit at a beach restaurant having lunch talking about whatever. We have some time to kill so we go sit on some rocks in the sun and look out at the water. Pete and I are just continuing conversation but I'm holding a feeling inside that is huge. Our mother loved the water, she kept us near it in the summer. I would climb rocks just like these with lighthouses in the distance and run right out into the sea. She always let me run into the water, she always had something else for me to wear. She preferred landscapes with lighthouses. Pete, Tyler and I were sitting together in one of her landscapes. We were grown and could be anywhere else but we were together there cause we chose to be. The feeling I had was that she could see it maybe even lead us there in our subconscious.
The day ends with Pete driving me to the train talking about starting to run. I tell him I started to help my insomnia, it helps me sleep. He tells me that me being in his house helps him sleep. He sleeps best when he has his family home. He says its a sad irony that the people he has the most fun with are his sisters and brothers yet none of us live near each other. Its the most painful thing in my life cause its very true. I would want my kids to know how our family works, I wouldn't want my favorite people to be strangers to each other.