20 Aug

I tell myself it’s only 128 miles away. A 90 minute drive; max of two hours if there is a lot of traffic on the four-lane highway- one hour if it’s an emergency.

I comfort myself, and hopefully him, by sharing little tidbits about the college town as I remember it. Which bars are fun, which are bars are a haven of douchebags, the best grocery stores, bank locations, how to get the best discounts on internet, cable and other money-saving tips that every college kid loves to hear.

I remind myself that he’s almost 21, not a freshman by any means, simply transfering to a new school to follow his heart’s dream which is of course what I want for him.

I occupy myself on the drive down by singing loudly to music, checking out passing license plates, catching up on phoen calls and letting out my road range where applicable. (Side Note: speeding up behind me when I’m already going over the speed limit is unnecessary. Furthermore, no need to swerve back in forth in the lane behind me.)

I am a flurry of activity when we arrive at his new apartment 128 miles away. Unloading, unpacking, moving, hauling, assembling, cleaning, dusting, soaking, de-greasing. (Since when do landlords leave houses messy for the next tenant? Uncool.) My parents are flurries of activities too.  

I sneak hugs in when he lets me and hold back the tears as best I can.

I arrange the presents I got for him on his bed: a stuffed animal that we both had growing up; a Moleskin Journalist’s notepad and of course a letter with some emergency cash. I do this when he’s not looking.

Post Wal-Mart trip (there is only one Target in this town 128 miles away from us, and it’s on the opposite side of town from where he lives), I busy myself with de-greasing the blinds that are right next to the stove cursing the girls who lived there before him for not being very good at domestic diva-ness.

He hugs me from behind, tears streaming down his handsome, grown-up, almost 21-ear old face, thanking me for the gifts in choked tones. I drop my greasy rag from the darn blins and hug him back. Tears pour from my face. I promise him I’m always here for him, no matter where he lives. He promises me he’ll be okay. I promise him that yes, he will be okay. He’ll be more than okay. He tells me he loves me.

We hear our parents coming and quickly divert the tears and our faces.

My dad is the first to leave (we had three separate cars. It takes a lot to move a college kid, you know). He’s never been good, and why should he be?, at his kids moving out of his house.

I am clinging onto the minutes here, in this great apartment, with this great brother, with Darling doing the exact same thing. We’ve done everything there is to do for the time being.

We leave with our lists of things to remember for next time we visit which is thankfully in two weeks, to celebrate his 21st birthday.

I stand on the sidewalk, hugging, wishing him nothing but success as he starts a new career path and new life, remembering all the big sister moments I’m so proud to be a part of, knowing that our relationship has become closer and stronger in the last year, reassuring myself that the miles won’t change that. I’m a ball of snot again (allergies, I’m blaming it on allergies) and force myself to walk to the car. He’s crying again because he’s really a lot like me.  

I call Irish and tell him we must move 128 miles away for the next three years. Being the solid rock that he is, he tells me it’s no problem. He tells me that my brother will be okay. He reminds me of the trip we are taking in two weeks.

Another 128 miles and I’m back home.

My parents and I treat ourselves to Mexican & Margaritas. My brother texts each one of us here and there. We finish a pitcher of margaritas.

My brother called me this morning for help with some college campus stuff. I realize that his experience pursuing a Journalism degree is not going to change our brother/sister relationship. In fact, I think we’ll become best friends as a result. I still miss him like crazy, but it will pass. Plus, it’s only 128 miles away.


17 Responses to “128”

  1. butterflycharlie August 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    sweet. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to my brother. Oh, apart from the nice Facebook message he sent me the other day which just says ‘You’re Weird.’ Other than that I don’t think I’ve seen or spoken to him since Christmas.

  2. katelin August 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    aw this is so cute. i love the relationship you have with your brother and your family. seriously so sweet.

  3. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair August 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    Awww, Nora, what a sweet post!! Moving away from home is SO hard, whether its 10 miles away or 1000. I think, by the sounds of it, yours and your brothers relationship is only going to get stronger and stronger now!

  4. Lisa D August 20, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    It is so cute that you are close to your brother!! They always talk about the sister-to-sister bond, but the brother-to-sister one gets glossed over. And it’s so important! I am so close to my brothers!

    It is so tough living far from family. My little sister lives in Tucson, so is a 3 hour plane ride away. :( I got spoiled having her home for the wedding and now I miss her even more!!

    But, we have to remind ourselves that we are lucky to have siblings that we have healthy relationships & love so much that we miss them. There are plenty of people out there w/ not so happy/healthy family dynamics!

  5. Jessica August 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    Aww honey I think it’s so sweet that you and your brother are so close. I know it’ll be tough for him to be gone but he isn’t too far away fortunately and you may grow even closer with him away.

  6. mandy August 20, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    You will become even better friends because of this. I think its awesome that you are so close. I am sure he appreciates you so so much!

  7. Andhari August 20, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    It amazes me how close you two are. :) and he’s such a sweet guy, unlike a lot of douchey guys around our age ( I’m 21 too ).

    Anyway, 90 minutes isn’t so bad, he can visit you all the time too. I may say this because I do a lot of ninety minutes trips but its more because of crazy jakarta traffic.

  8. Liz August 21, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    He’s a good kid, that brother of yours. He’s turning into a fine young man that you can certainly be proud of.

    And don’t worry. Tailgate season is almost here! I’m happy to go all 128 miles with you and when we get there, you can hug your brother and I will hug a big frost mug of beer. :)

  9. Aunt KC August 21, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    When you drive the next 128 miles, give him a big hug from us.

  10. Kyla Roma August 21, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    This is so sweet- my sister is moving to FRANCE this year and I’m planning to buy her a drink and give her a high five, what is your secret?? =)

    There is obviously not much that could come between you, and a little distance is truly nothing for hearts like yours =)

  11. sarahdotcom August 21, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    ah, you wrote this beautifully.

    it is so nice to hear of such an awesome relationship between you and your brother. it doesn’t sound like 128 miles will take anything away from it.


  12. ria August 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    if i had a sibling i’d like to think we’d be as close as you are to your brother. yes it is only 128 miles and technology can keep us close together if not physically. :)

  13. bellerenee August 21, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    SO SWEET. I can’t decide if I now want a big sister like you or a little brother like him.

  14. oh August 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    drat. you made me cry. a lot. I am so lucky that you two are close. It makes my heart sing.

    And I love love love bellerenee’s comment about can’t decid if she wants a big sister like you or a little brother like him!

    you have wonderful (and adorable) blog readers!

    Is it really 128 miles? I didn’t even look at the speedometer; I was so concentrating on driving that huge stinking van!

  15. Erin August 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    This is such a sweet post. I actually teared up a little. I think it’s so wonderful that you have such a great relationship with your brother!

  16. Rebekah August 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    I was never so close to either of my siblings for a long, long time. I wonder if it was harder or easier to not feel like that.


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