I sent my brother Brian a birthday card last week, knowing it would get there in plenty of time for his 44th birthday today. I went back and forth for a long time deciding that, in spite of our estrangement (Nothing’s Unconditional), I should send him anything. My therapist Lynn, who I have been seeing for close to five months now, recommended I go ahead, if I feel inclined, but brace myself for a plethora of responses, ranging from no response at all, to a shredded card sent back to me.
Chuck, who has been stoic and stubborn throughout the estrangement of his brother-in-law has demanded that I let Brian go altogether. To this Lynn has offered, “Men handle things differently. Chuck is more than likely being protective of you and your feelings.”
So I have sent the card anyway, following additional advice from Lynn that I keep things very simple, signing the card with something along the lines of “Thinking of you…”
Still on vacation, I am now headed out to the pool to bask in the Arizona sun. A dip in the cool water, then the intense sun drying my body within minutes as I lay on the chaise lounge. Rinse and repeat, several times. I love the contrast and sensation of hot and cold — just not in relationships.
Later we’ll pay a visit to Chuck’s elderly mom and step-dad, then at 5:00 it’s happy hour with fellow “40 Days” friend Bill LaBrie. It’s going to be a good day.
Happy Birthday, Brian. I hope you come around soon; if not this year, then perhaps next.