You know when you get that question, "so tell me about your heroes," and then you have to stop and think, and you want to say someone really awesome that everyone will be like, "yeah..totally." Well, aside from my parents, i hadn't really thought about anyone else who could fill that position in my life. Then there's the Sunday School answer: Jesus, but i kind of cringe when i hear myself saying that. Not that i don't love Him because i do, He's great!!! BUT, i've been really thinking hard lately about who my heroes are, and finally it hit me. DUH. Why i hadn't thought of this person before, i don't know, but i can say with complete confidence that he's been my hero for my whole life. I just didn't realize it 'til the other day.
He's been around longer than i have. Two years and 1 month longer than me to be exact.
He is my brother.
It was just the two of us growing up, and we spent so much time together building Lego forts, playing with match box cars, Transformers, My Little Pony (the only girl thing he would play with me because they were horses.), G.I. Joe, Nintendo (the original one where you save the Princess), and the list goes on and on forever. We built forts together outside. There were fake campfires under the Evergreen and Magnolia trees that grew in the yard of our childhood home. We would get plastic containers from the kitchen and make delicious meals out of dirt, leaves, and pinecones. Yummy. We spent hours pushing each other on the tire swing singing loudly at the top of our lungs songs like, "ON TOP OF OLD SMOOOOOOOOOOKEY!!!!!!" We'd swim circles in our small, above ground, 3ft. deep swimming pool until we had the best water vortex that two skinny, freckled faced, red-headed children could muster up. We'd ride our bikes up and down the dirt hill beside our house and down the road to the yellow Slow Children sign. That was our limit when we were little. Don't go past the Slow Children sign. HAH! As we got older, he helped me pass Algebra I and II, Geometry, and anything else that required mathmatical thinking. We threw the BEST parties ever in our basement and hung out with our friends discussing and solving the problems of the world (or our small world). I cheered loudly for him and waved my pom poms in support at all his basketball games. I kept the books and rode with him, my dad, and the rest of the soccer team to all his games during soccer season. I don't think anyone (besides my dad) was prouder than me when they beat Metrolina Christian his senior year and were named Tournament and Season Champs. That was the year he stepped up and played goalie because no one else wanted to, and he did an amazing job at it.
I cried when we left him at Montreat college the fall of his freshman year. When we got home that evening, I curled up on his bed and slept and cried. I cried at the rehearsal dinner before his wedding when i told his bride to be that she would now be the one to hold his hand (when we were little, he was obsessed with holding my hand).
I've always looked up to him, wanted to be like him, and respected him for who he is. We are different, my brother and i. One of us is right-brained, and the other is left-brained. I don't know who is what, but we are not the same. We are family, though. He is my brother and i love him for all the ways he is different from me. It makes life fun. He's always stood up for what he believed was right and good, whether or not it was popular. He just doesn't care what other people think enough to sacrifice what he knows to be true. That takes a strong man.
In highschool, he was kind enough to drive me everywhere because i was afraid to drive (did not get my license until i was 18 and on my way out the door to college). Because of this, we spent a lot of time in the car together.
I can remember vividly one night when we were on our way back from a sort of "camp-out" at some of our highschool friends house. We had been there for a while, hanging out around the campfire singing and goofing off. At the time, i had a HUGE crush on one of my brother's friends. He knew, and he of course didn't like the idea. This boy that i was crushing on did not have the best reputation with girls and their hearts. Still, i was a stubborn girl, and i just knew that this guy liked me. He had been flirting with me and talking to me for months now. I had planned on this campfire night being AMAZING. Well, this guy ignored me the whole night. Talked to everyone but me, flirted with my friends, and pretty much made me feel like crap (sorry mom, i know you hate that word, but that's how he made me feel). When we finally got in my brother's car (1965 Corvair) and drove off, i broke down into tears and started sobbing. My brother knew instantly what was wrong. I remember him hitting the stearing wheel because he was so upset and saying something like, "i knew this would happen!" He was angry with his "friend" for treating me like that, and it meant so much to me to know that he wanted to protect and defend me in those situations.
Now he lives in a house with his beautiful wife and two children, teaches math at a local college, and leads the youth group at his church. I love going home to visit him and catching up on life with him and his family. He is way overdue a thank you for being such a wonderful brother and his sister couldn't ask for a better hero than he has been to her. I love him so much.