Tomorrow, 6th June, will be my brother's birthday. And I haven't seen him in over 16 years.
I wonder what he looks like now? Thinner? Heavier (like me)? I don't know - and I feel sad that I can't talk to him or ask him what he's doing, or tell him about his nephew and neice and what's happening to those who are his family.
We are not a large family - just our mother, my husband and our children, one cousin and his daughter. That's all there are of us, blood wise, left.
My brother was a chef in London, then he moved to the West Country and - after that we lost touch. We went down there once, Bryan and I, to where we last heard he was living, but didn't find him.
Well, it's his choice. Family are not chosen, are they? Though in early years my brother and I fought like... well, like brother and sister I suppose - in later years we were friends. My husband and brother are very similar ages, and had the same taste in music (stuff like Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin... not my taste at all). I remember coming home one night to find my brother and husband lying either side of the toilet - sharing as brothers (in law) do - the results of what they both declared was a 'dodgy pint'.
I remember my father and brother arguing at the dinner table one day (so I must have been younger than 14) and father saying 'That bloody pop music...' and Phil was playing Fairport Convention. "That bloody pop music was written before your classical music!" - ah, the joys of father/son musical differences. Well, I didn't know much about it then, but now I not only know who Fairport are, but have met them, am on chatting terms with most of them and have played on the same stages.
It's funny how things turn out. When I look back at how naieve I was then - in fact even in later years - I realise how much my brother and I do have in common as people, not just as siblings. But you can't turn back the clock, eh?
So, no point fretting I guess - but at this time of year I do think of him, wonder how he's doing. In the meantime, I know he can find me any time he wants. But finding him? That's a challenge - and one I have failed at to date. But it doesn't stop me thinking of him.