About a year ago I found out that I was going to be an aunt. My sister called me, gave me the news and I definitely screamed straight into the phone. This isn’t my first post about my niece because well… she changed my life and I never realized that we are capable could love someone who can’t necessarily love us back so very much.
But the true reason, the person who is truly behind this post is my brother-in-law. I have been thinking about him a lot the last couple of weeks, possibly because he just had his birthday, maybe because he won’t be able to come join the family for my graduation or maybe just because I love him. The thing is I don’t think I have ever been able to explain through spoken words how important he is to me or explain the impact he had when he entered my life… this is my attempt to put into words these things :)
My eldest sister left for college when I was in 7th grade. That was 9 years ago. When she left she had only had one boyfriend and between you and me I wasn’t too thrilled with her pick. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just wasn’t good enough for my sister.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years… my sister is in her senior year at college, working in a coffee shop and a tall handsome gentleman begins to stop by. Long story short: they talk, exchange numbers, she concocts a movie night and they start dating.
Fast forward a couple of weeks… my parents and I decide to suprise my sister and her new boyfriend by showing up at my gramma’s house for dinner. She had prepared him to meet my dad’s whole side of the family, but not us. SURPRISE!
Well let’s just say he did just fine. Until that point I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be good enough for my sister. At this point in my life I still thought that everything in my family revolved around me, therefore, it was my opinion alone that my sister should be seeking. That is what any normal youngest child would believe, right? Well I can tell you from the moment that I met my brother-in-law my answer was yes.
I prayed that he would be my brother forever. It only made sense. He fit into our family as though he had always known us and always would.
He treated me as more than my sister’s sister, he treated me as ME. But what is more, he made my sister more of herself. The more they were together the more I could see her for who she was. Plus he stuck around. Trust me, my family is amazing but we are slightly crazy as well, sticking around is a great attribute to have [PS to any family reading… this is a joke :)].
After a while, he asked my dad for his permission (which is a whole other funny story), my dad said yes and then it was a wait until he asked my sister.
I prayed that she would say yes.
I prayed that he would join our family.
And a little over 4 years ago he did became my brother. I (and my other sister) gained something I had never had before, a brother. My sister gained a husband and became a wife. My parents gained a son. What we all gained was more than something legally binding which is why I refuse to truly call him my brother-in-law. And with this gain our lives changed forever, for the better.
My brother showed and continues to show me the type of man that I want to marry: someone who fits into my family from day one, someone who my family wouldn’t be complete without, someone who knows my family for the people that they are and someone who helps me to become more of who I am. Someone who helps me become more of who I am because they give me the space to be myself.
In life, we have family who is flesh and blood, who know us from the very moment of our birth until the moment we pass from this earth. And then there are the people who come into our lives, never leave and become a part of that family. Sometimes they are friends, sometimes they are mentors and sometimes they become family. My brother was one of those people.
I am thankful for the chance to have a brother, to see my sister be a wife and to have a beautiful and healthy neice. I am thankful that God gives us blessings greater than we could have every experience. I am thankful that somethings are just thicker than blood.