He taught me that if I put pennies on the train track and was very patient they would double in size.
He patiently had "tea" with me in small plastic cups.
He sat in the back of the truck with me on family vacations and ALWAYS ate the extra burgers in the sack.
He snuck me candy.
He laughed at me.
He pointed to planes and told me someday he'd be flying them, just like the guys in the movies.
He was nine years my elder and my hero.
And when I stood next to him in my home, on the corner of 42nd and Broadway a couple weeks ago, none of that had changed for me. Not in the decades since we've seen each other, in the lifetimes that have passed.
He'll always be that guy I feel infinitely proud to be related to, infinitely blessed that he would take the time to hang with his so much younger, so much different "baby cousin."
And as I introduced him to my husband, as we walked through my city streets - pointing out my work, my neighborhood . . . where I've made my home: it felt so right that he would finally get to meet me all over again. See my life. I wanted to so desperately for him to see I had done well - grown up okay.
And as we sat in Serafina and caught up, as best we could over lunch, it felt as if no time had passed at all. I felt sheer joy a couple times when he had mentioned us going to Yellowstone one summer - as if confirming somehow all my memories were real. After so long apart, it almost felt as if they were just stories in my mind.
And then, the best part - to hear him talk of flying; of his job, what he does now every day.
Which, of course, is everything he once told the smallest version of me he would do. I remember watching planes fly across the sky, trying to imagine him in them - and now, knowing that is exactly what's happening? It could not have filled me with more sheer happiness.
As we walked to the train station to say goodbye, he slowed a bit and said we had done it.
We're living the dreams, now, aren't we? And doesn't it feel good?
And my world came into such sharp focus. Suddenly the kids in the back of that truck and the adults we are now stood side by side. All their dreams wrapped up in wishes and hopes at the time, staring at skies and pictures and maps . . .
All that real now. All that as real as we are, standing in Times Square. He going home to fly a plane, me to my apartment 10 minutes from Central Park.
Yes, it feels good. It's feels wonderful and amazing and right.
And even better? Looking into his eyes and knowing he feels it all too. That patient ornery boy I looked up to knows it, too.
The amazing feeling of finally getting to live your dream.
I'm so glad I got to share that with him all these years later.
6 years ago