|WPM, JR. RIP 1969-2011|
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I used to look at this poster and laugh. Wasn’t it amusing how there is a Star Wars moment to help with all of life’s situations…only today I don’t feel like laughing…
I just received a phone call earlier today that my big brother is dead.
He was only older by thirteen months and for the beginning of our lives we were partners in crime. I remember us sitting in the front seat of the family Dodge as we sat waiting for our parents. The car was parked at the end of the driveway, which was a 30 degree incline. My brother would put the car into neutral; we would jump together into the backseat; and “Whee!” our way backwards into the street. It seemed like a good idea at the time; and was a cheap form of entertainment for two thrill seekers like us. Knowing my parents the way I do, I’m sure the punishment was swift and decisive. Most importantly, it is long since forgotten.
My brother and I were always getting into trouble together. When I was a kid my big brother was my hero. He taught me to run, throw and punch like a boy. These were crucial skills to me as the neighborhood tomboy. When he was old enough to go to school, and I wasn’t, I convinced him to hide me in his backpack so that he could sneak me into kindergarten. Needless to say, my parents stopped him when he couldn’t lift his backpack on his shoulder. They opened it up and there I was.
When I was finally old enough to go to school, it was my big brother who held my hand and walked me to my first class. My kindergarten teacher had to coax him into leaving me there and told him that I would be fine, but that he could come back after school to take me to our bus if that made him feel better. During those pre-teen years my brother was my best friend.
As we grew older and each had our own lives; we became more and more distant. He had his life and I had mine. So when I received the call about his passing, I initially felt as if I didn’t even have a right to mourn him. I mean, I hardly knew who he was anymore.
Then, I remembered my Star Wars…Luke and Leia. Luke and Leia literally grew up on different worlds. After brief moments together, the two twins grew into adults without ever knowing that the other existed. Yet, when first they met, there was an instant connection between them. I long since outgrew the initial nausea that accompanies that ill-fated kiss between Luke and Leia in Empire, but if you truly look at their relationship it makes complete sense.
Here is some girl Luke has never met, yet he is instantly drawn to her. For Leia, the ease and trust she felt for Luke was also instantaneous. I could see how to such similar and romantic figures might think that they were in love. For Luke, I think it was the only explanation that made sense to him. Why would I feel such a connection to a complete stranger unless I’m in love with them?
In time, it became obvious to Luke that he did in fact love Leia, but only as a sister.
The lesson here is that time, distance, nor absence can break the binds that tie us together. Luke learned this lesson so well that he was able to redeem his absent father.
Though my big brother and I had grown apart due to distance and circumstance, I know that the time we shared together in our youth fighting our own ‘rebellion’ can never be erased and that he, like the Force, will be with me, always!