A brother, a sister, and a to-do list

Things brothers and sisters do together:

Play cops and robbers all day = check!
Have hair dryer and curling iron battles = check!
Play carnival in the living room with baseball cap ball tosses = check!
Drive each other nuts but always figure it out = check!
Bust each other to the parents = check check check!
Twirl around on the dance floor = check!
Stick together through divorce = check!
Protect each other when Santa could still be downstairs = check! X 18 years
Unrolling the wrapping paper from tubes and sword fighting = check!
Beating PS1 Crash Bandicoot game levels that I can’t beat = check!

Everything “checked” happened before I graduated high school. Now let’s pause for at least seven years – his estimated parole – and see what we’ve missed out on.

Be a phone call away = ____
See me graduate from college = ____
Attend a college football game = ____
Protect me from things that make me cry = ____
Gossip and BS about how silly our parents are = ____
Hang out and meet my friends while I’m in college = ____
Approve of the man I will marry someday = ____
See me get married = ____

My brother left on October 12, 2006, and ever since then, I have no existing brother unless I’m IDed, patted down from head to toe by a woman in a uniform that reads “Iowa Medical and Classification Center” and “approved” to enter through those doors that are sealed by the best locks in the world.

Four hours later, I have to turn my back, pretend that I don’t care, and exit those same doors into a world while my only brother stands in one spot waving good-bye. Every time I turn around to wave good-bye one last time, I wonder if he’s thinking the same thing I am: “JUST RUN! And get out of there and come home.” Come home so we can check off these memories every brother/sister pair have no problem doing.

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