Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy birthday, Evan.

In honor of my brother's birthday today! 
Warning: heart-felt, mushy content below

Sketch of Evan I did a couple months ago.
When I left home, I was 20 with an 8-hour drive ahead of me to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I left a lot behind with a long road ahead of pursuing a degree, starting a family and moving across the country, but one thing I did not expect to miss out on was not seeing my brother, Evan, grow up into a full-sized, sometimes-bearded, creative man. He was sixteen when I left for college. I missed basketball games, garage bands, girlfriends, late-night discussions and even graduation. I can blame the distance and my hate for the telephone, but somewhere along the timeline of my own coming-of-age season I became too absorbed by my own activities, relationships and goals to pay much attention any more to not just my brother, but my sisters as well. It’s disappointing.

The moment that it really hit me how much of Evan's life I missed was in 2009, I believe, when I was visiting my family in Illinois with my husband and little Oliver. Some of us were out on my parents’ porch one evening and Evan was picking around on the guitar surprising me by how good of a player he had become. He started to sing Wagon Wheel, and I was so taken by his voice. Wait...he can sing?! I didn’t know Evan sang. My heart swelled with pride in the talented and handsome man he suddenly was.

The sad thing is that I’m still too absorbed in my own life to stay well in touch with my siblings. Granted, there are a lot of big things going on in my life such as surviving and raising three children and a lot of important things they’re focusing on. But I regret often not doing more to stay connected. My efforts do not match my deep love for them! And I’m so tired of just sitting in that regret and calling it “just the way it is.” I’m going to commit (and I’m not always good at that) to calling or Skyping with my siblings at least once a month from here on out. I’m going to mark it on the calendar and whether or not they have the time, they’ll hear from me. It scares me to say that out loud because I’m so afraid of not following through and realizing I’ll always be this way. God, help me.

So, Evan….Olivia, Ali. Whatya say? Wanna Skype? Facetime? Talk on the phone? 

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