When I was in first grade, my older brother, Bill, who is eight years older,  and I rode the school bus up missile base road and got dropped off at the end of Oakdale Church Road.  From there, we walked up a dirt road to the church where Bill had his car parked.  He then drove us the rest of the way home, mostly on a dirt road.  He was too young for a license.  This one day, we were on the bus, sitting separately, when a kid asked me my name.  Thinking he was being friendly, I told him, and then he asked my brother’s name.  I told him, giving him the same last name as me.  The kid started laughing and told me that Bill had a different last name than me, and that we weren’t real brothers and sisters.  I started crying of course, since Bill was my hero.  Bill asked me what was wrong.  I told him and he came unglued on the kid, asking him if he was proud of himself.  We got off the bus and all the way to the church, Bill explained that we have different dads, but that that did not mean that we weren’t brother and sister and that he loved me just like I loved him. ( I can remember having a similar discussion with our older sister a few years later.)  I was so reassured by his words, that I don’t think I worried about this unexpected information very much. I spent most of my childhood hoping that he would think I was cool. (I think anyone with older siblings feels this kind of hero worship?) Anyway, he was and is the coolest big brother ever.  And to my younger brothers, if you ever wished I thought you were cool, I do. (Well, most of the time. There was that one time when you…..) LOL


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