It's 9:20 on a Friday night. I have dropped my children off at my parents house in anticipation of leaving very early tomorrow morning. SIL -- not Brother's wife, but the other one- the one having the baby- has called with questions.
Lots of questions.
Questions about labor, and centimeters, and shows.
It could very much be nothing, but it could also be something.
A big something.
I am carefully and quietly watching my husband, my rock, and the partner of my soul and the angst he has for his little sister, knowing what she is about to battle, but knowing more- that there is love between these two siblings.
So much love.
He wants to be by her side- he needs to be with her- but he also knows, that the only thing she needs is prayers and her husband- her rock- her partner of her soul.
As I sit and type, her rock calls to say that she is hooked up to monitors and things are moving along four weeks early, but progressing, nonetheless. He might have mentioned tequila shots as a joke that we both laughed at.
As I sit and type, "Need you Know" comes on my radio and I think about these two siblings who have always loved each other with all they have- have always been each other's best friend- and have always been mistaken for twins for good reason- and not just because they look alike. Sister and Husband have always been able to know what is in the other's heart.
And Husband knows what is in Sister's heart- because he has been there. Not on the table, in the throws of labor; rather the husband, holding the wife's hand being as calming and comforting as a man can be in a woman's world.
We both want to be with this woman and this man who will soon be parents.
The nervous energy I have allows me to make corn broth. Corn broth? What the hell is that? It's a precursor to the best corn chowder in the world- clearly something someone needs in their freezer as the summer cometh. Husband's nervous energy allows him to research his woodworking skills and sand the boat. Yes, sand. the. boat. He has about two hours left of sanding the boat he is building before he can paint it.
An excellent place to place nervous energy- almost as great as corn broth.
This moment in time makes me think of my brother and what he went through when I was going through the fires of hell to bring LMC into this world. Brother would not leave the hospital. He would not leave the waiting room. As day turned to night, the anxiety grew in Hometown as they sat waiting for LMC to gather her strength and waited for me to get to a place of safekeeping. Mama and Daddy both told Brother and SIL to go home- there were children waiting there, a six month old and a three year old. SIL left, not from lack of love, but from responsibility. Brother said, "I'm not leaving my sister." He sat in that awful waiting chair for another four hours before there was any news- none of which good.
Three years later, Brother was the first phone call we had to make when I went into the hospital in the middle of the night. He was the only phone call we made in the pre-dawn hours after Bennie was born. There was no one else I wanted Husband to call for me.
In this moment, I get it. I get why he did not ask if I wanted to call my parents first, or his parents. It was my brother.
And now it is his sister.
I understand why I love my aunts as I love my own mother. Why I wanted my brother to be the first person there. Why I hurt when he hurt and loved when he loved.
Brother and I, just as Sister and Husband were made from the same cloth, with the same love, for the same reason.
There is no one else- no one else that knows your story the way your brother does.
This brother, here, waiting for his Sister- there- to get to where we are now.
Come on tomorrow morning, I am ready. I am ready to drive down the highway to see them, love them, and know that everything is as it should be.
But nearly as much as my husband.