Friday, 11 November 2011


I have two brothers, and I love them to pieces. One is now a married man with two kids, and one, seven years younger, is single. When I was single, and feeling very cranky about men in general, I would make myself think about my brothers and how fantastic they are. This invariably cheered me up and made me think more positively about the other half of the human race.

My brothers--I think I can safely describe them together--are upstanding and hard-working. I fear they are too hard-working, just like our dad. They are both musically talented and great fun to be around. They each have a zillion friends, but they each make time to get home to Mum and Dad. They are both intensely intelligent. They still go to Mass.

When we were little, we all played together, and my brothers (and sisters, too, but I'm thinking about brothers today) added so much to my childhood. The older brother was a bit of a child prodigy on the piano, and so I often woke to the sound of beautiful music: childhood was full of live music. The younger brother was great fun and his sly sense of humour, which included building complicated traps for the baby of the family, provided material for enduring family jokes.

In adult life, my brother still add so much to the family. Both of them kept up their music, and so when I am in Canada, I might find myself in a romantically seedy nightclub listening to the younger brother's rock band or in a concert hall listening to the older brother's quintet. The older brother got married to a woman whom the family all, without exception, hesitation or reservation, adore and has had two bee-oo-tee-ful children (so far)! The younger brother lives close to my parents and has helped them out a lot with physical tasks, like taking care of our late grandma's house. He also got me out of a financial mess, for which I will be forever grateful, and I'm putting a cheque in the mail today! 8-0 (No, really. The Polish money came in.)

My brothers, I think, helped to make me the married woman I am today. Soon after I met Benedict Ambrose in person, I thought "This man is so much like my brothers." And I also thought, "This man would get along so well with my family. I can so see him around the table at Christmas!" And this proved to be true. Last Christmas, when my parents, one brother and one sister came to the Historical House for their first Scottish Christmas ever, was one of the happiest of my life.

When my brothers come to visit, they move seamlessly into our social set. They are both former choirboys, and they can both sightread, so they are immediately pressed into Trid Mass choir service and/or singing after boozy Trid suppers. The elder brother, incidentally, drove B.A. and I to our honeymoon, and brother and B.A. sang Gilbert and Sullivan tunes together as we whizzed down the highway.

Because it is Remembrance Day, I will also mention that the elder brother put in ten active years in the militia and the younger brother gave army cadets a go. Their willingness to serve others has extended to the civil sphere, you see. I suppose I am also reactionary enough to be proud of my brothers to have been brave and adventurous enough to have gotten involved with the military, which in Canada is not an everyday sort of institution.

So there you go. I am lucky to have been given two wonderful brothers, and I am also lucky enough to fallen for a guy like my brothers, instead of my usual type. (Actually, I think B.A. is half like my brothers and half like my usual type!)

Today's topic being brothers, please feel free to write about your wonderful brothers (real or "adopted") in the combox. I realize this is a topic I have brought up before, but it can't hurt anyone to enthuse yet again about the great men in her life!


MaryT said...


a) Can I have your single brother???!

b) I have three amazing brothers. One is a Marine stationed in Louisiana, and one is a Recon Marine doing top secret things. They are real men to be proud of and trust in. The third brother is only a two year old (I am 23 years older than he!), but he is precious, and if my brothers and my dad have any say in the matter, he will be a wonderful man as well.

Anonymous said...

thank you for your post....I understand very well your desire to boast about your brothers, because I feel like doing the same about mine. ;))
I have three of them:

the oldest one (who used to pick on me and destroy my dolls and be really dangerous to me while practicing karate, and the only one who smoked and seemed not very interested in studying, etc.) turned out to be a great loving father to his 2 children and a very responsible provider for his family. It was a pleasure to discover him anew in his adult age!

My second one, the brainiest of all, is still single, teaches Latin and Greek and I would marry him, if he were not my brother. He is very affectionate, even if this side does not come out easily- he is a tough teacher!

and my youngest one, is the lamb of the family. we all knew he will become a priest, and actually he is becoming one soon. meek, very good and innocent.

I love them and am grateful for all of them! ;)

Jam said...

My brother and I are very different and not terribly close (not in an angry way, just a "our paths don't cross" way). His best quality is that he is extremely likable. When people meet my brother they immediately want to help him.

Emma said...

I love my younger brother, the best gift my brother ever gave to me. He is smart, funny, and a very genuinely kind person. He's always reading amazing books, and he inspires me to keep reading, so that I could one day be as well read as him.

The Sojourner said...

I don't have any brothers, but I cannot resist the opportunity to brag on my soon-to-be brother-in-law. I was staying at my fiance's family's house, and this morning his youngest brother (age 14), who is not naturally an early riser, got up at 7 a.m. so he could make pancakes for everyone before they had to leave for the day. They were good pancakes, too. Young ladies of the Midwestern United States should be aware of this fact.

Teresa said...

Wow! What a great post. One of my close friends and I were jussst talking about this the other day! I have something to add:

I have much, much younger brothers. One is celebrating his seventh birthday this weekend and the other is about four and a half. They came just as I was starting college, and they are one of the biggest blessings in my life. It can be difficult for me to search for a boyfriend or husband who resembles them... as they're a little too young to exhibit some of the protective, manly qualities that you brought up in your post (although I already seem some of the seeds, and I look forward to the day when I admire them as much as you admire your brothers). But there is one change in my attitude towards men that I've noticed since my brothers entered my life. I went to an all girls' school for high school, and there was an unfortunate tendency to "man-bash," to make fun of men for being stupid or controlled by sexual desires or just inferior to women in some way. Although we didn't mean it seriously, we did make jokes like this--jokes which never seemed to bother me at the time. Now, with knowledge of my brothers and how lovable and affectionate and smart they are and how much they need a world that DEMANDS and EXPECTS them to be the men they must be... I hate hearing jokes like this. If a woman at work pokes fun at a man or discusses their bodies in a way that is disrespectful, I am furious and defensive--as I think I ought to be. Thank God for brothers!

Again, great post! Just wanted to share.

theobromophile said...

I didn't have a brother until I was 17. The day he was born, I had a college interview. :)

My "little" (taller than I am!) brother is funny, a whiz at math, and has a huge heart. His friends are all really nice (albeit goofy, fitting of that age) kids. The girls that he has had crushes on have all been the nicest, most level-headed girls out there - and sometimes really pretty too boot. Somehow, he puts up with the slew of older sisters.

Girl with the yellow hat said...

I love this post! I have 6 brothers which is sometimes more than a girl can handle! My dad died when I was little and my 6 older brothers have done their best to be "the man" in my life. One is my godfather and regardless of his problems, I know he prays for me everyday. Most of them are dads now and they are amazing examples of Catholic fatherhood. Thanks for your love bros!

Eowyn said...

The other day I witnessed a usually tough, cool 12-year-old boy stop everything he was doing on the soccer field and embrace and console and comfort his little crying 6-year-old sister with an enormous amount of tenderness and strength. It was the most beautiful, beautiful thing. I'm going to carry that image with me for awhile.

Kate P said...

I was pretty sure I posted a comment yesterday--maybe Blogger ate it?

Anyway, I really enjoyed this post and thought it was a lovely tribute to your brothers, Seraphic.

I have been particularly impressed seeing my older brother in action as a dad, especially this past week with my super-new nephew, who was born unexpectedly early.

Anonymous said...

I have four brothers. They are all amazing. My oldest is enormously smart, and although he struggles with certain handicaps, we works amazingly hard at loving all of us, and his wife, adopted daughter, and new baby on the way. His perseverance in following God's will in his life has been a continual example to me.

My second brother grew up right smack in the middle of seven girls. He had four older sisters, and three younger ones. As he grew up, he became that most rare of men: the man who actually understands women. He was one of the best men I have ever known. He knew how to carry heavy things for you without making you feel weak. He was silly, and smart, and he loved God with all his heart. He was working on his MA in Education (he had his BA in Classical Languages), and had just finished his first semester student teaching Latin when he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 30. That was almost three years ago. I will always miss him more than I can say, if only because I have one less man I can go to for their "Professional Guy Opinion" on the weird things men do.

My third brother is currently finishing up his college education at a university not too far away. He is tall, and geeky (he's getting his degree in Computer Science), and affectionate, and sweet beyond compare. After my third brother died, he overcame some of his natural awkwardness to become more physically affectionate with his sisters because he knew that it comforted them. When he comes home from college he fixes my computer, and snuggles with me on the couch while we watch tv. He loves God with all his heart. I used to help out with his youth group when he was in school, and sometimes I would watch him when he was praying just because his face became so beautiful.

My fourth and youngest brother is one of the sweetest young men I have ever known. When he was a baby in his highchair he would grab my hand when I walked by to give it a kiss. He is the trouble maker and the tease in our family. He loves tickling and poking his sisters, or picking them up and tossing them (gently) on couches, or roughhousing of any kind. He is very strong (he's the one athlete in our family), but he's very careful with his strength. He also loves God very much, and has chosen to devote his life to service by training to become a firefighter and EMT.

I am very, very proud of all my brothers. I love bragging about them. They are one of the greatest delights of my life.