33 months is a LONG TIME. So much can happen in nearly three years. My dad had a quadruple bypass, Hubs and I planned our wedding and got married, our friends began having babies and we have started planning a family of our own. Life is short as an adult and 33 months at this point is a long fricken time.
For the last 33 months, my brother has been in jail. He should have been there to hold Mom’s hand with me when Dad had unexpected heart surgery. But he was in jail. He was supposed to stand by my side when we got married. But he was in jail. There are a lot of “should haves” and “wish you were heres” that have piled up during this, his most recent (and PLEASE GOD LAST) stint behind bars. In the five years that Hubs and I have been together, more than half of his interactions with my brother have been in a supervised room, across a table, where you can’t hug and everyone around you can hear your conversations (not that I’m private, but I get distracted easily…).
This is the most recent picture I have of my brother and I. It’s from December 2008.
Even after the ugliest of adolescent fights, I never wished to be an only child. I have always been more than happy to share my life and our parents with my brother. There have been times over the past 33 months where I have felt like an only child. Those times have been among the most painful of my life, rivaled only by the death of our beloved grandparents.
I will never understand what caused my brother to walk down the wrong path – we had the exact same upbringing, love and support. I will never understand what it was like to be in jail for the majority of the last five years. I won’t understand how he felt not being at my wedding. And he will never fully grasp how much he has hurt our parents and myself.
But today, I’m trying my hardest to be positive, and to look forward.
After 33 months, my brother is getting out of jail at 1 p.m. today.
Please understand how much joy this brings me. How happy I am that when I go home in one month and three days, he will be there. I will be able to hug him. My family will be complete again. Yet, I am a ball of anxiety. The last five years have been a rollercoaster for my family in terms of my brother. I can forgive him for the effects of his choices on the rest of our lives, but I cannot forget them. I want the best for him, will support him to the end because he is my brother, I will always be here for him, but not without worry.
I hope there is a day when I don’t have to worry about my brother ending up in jail again. A day when the last five years will appear as an isolated time in our lives when things were rough, but we made it through. There are normal things that you wish for your siblings, like falling in love and having a family, that I don’t really see for my brother at this point. Of course it would be great if they happened, but ultimately I just want him to be happy. Be able to find a job (a seemingly impossible feat for the formerly-incarcerated) that makes him happy and allows him to support himself.
I love my brother with all my heart. I am so happy that he is getting out of jail today, and feel badly that I am not home to be with my family at this time, but also feel badly because I don’t feel as bad as I should (emotional gibberish, hope my meaning is clear!).
33 months is a long time as an adult. There are things that have happend in the last 33 months that I will never forget – beautiful, joyful, blessed events. My brother’s time in jail will hopefully be something our family can move on from. It is time to move forward.