we were really close when we were teenagers and somehow that bond has not broken
our lives have taken very different tracks, which is in the nature of families I suppose
he now lives in Australia with his wife and two cats, he hadn't been told that I'd been ill (I do wonder if he would have been invited to my funeral if I'd died, and I do wonder if he'd have come half way across the world for that and then I stop that line of wondering) but he was over here on a short business trip and managed to carve out a few hours to come and see me and his nephews and niece. . .
. . .it was the first time we've seen him
and he us
in about four years. . .
. . .he managed not to say "you've grown!" to The Teen, who towered over him in a trying-not-to-be-menacing fashion (it must be so difficult being 6'3", poor thing) (interestingly, early on in the visit The Teen slipped off and changed his school shirt for his Metallica t-shirt)
. . .he managed not to say "you've grown!" to Teen Too, who is only an inch or two away from his uncle's 6' frame, and didn't comment on how the once buddha-like toddler has now stretched out and slimmed down to the lean teen that he now is
. . .he fell hopelessly in love with Mini-Teen and did say "you've grown!!!!" (which only prompted the usual outburst of how everyone else is taller than her and it's not fair and how she lives in a land of giants and wants an early growth spurt so that she can look everyone in the eye) (without having to stand on a chair) and proceeded to wiggle his ears at her (living in Australia does strange things to a man, it seems)
I had spent the whole day tidying in his honour, so we were able to sit at the table and have a meal together - which was pleasant and enjoyable, altho the three children put him thru the usual dinnertime grilling of his views on religion, evolution, creationism, physics, astronomy, politics, philosophy, recycling, global warming, water conservation (I forget the rest, my brain fused out after about twenty minutes) and at one stage he looked at me in an exasperated fashion and muttered "no wonder our father insisted on silence at meal times" (to which I muttered in reply "now you understand why I had a nervous breakdown") (probably a slightly unfair comment, but I suspect he understood exactly what I meant)
after that I spent the rest of the evening asking about his life Down Under, about his career, about his wife, about their cats, about his wife's family. . .
. . .when all I really needed and wanted
was to tell him about me. . .
. . .he spent the last hour of his visit on the phone to his wife (they are very close) (and hate to be apart) while we all sat around patiently waiting to be centre of attention again (*cough, splutter*) and Mini-Teen practised her ear-wiggling skills
when he left, I had a lump in my throat - there was so much I needed and wanted to tell, but the opportunity hadn't arisen; he gave me a huge hug on the doorstep and I almost burst into tears; but I was very thankful of his visit and I hope it won't be as long again until we see him next