The unknown brother

I don’t know how much it really has been mentioned much on here.. but I have two half-brothers.

I have one younger full brother… who is usually the one referred to when I don’t specify…

I have one older half-brother from my mom’s side, who I grew up with, but we don’t particularly get along the greatest, so rarely have any involvement other than holidays…. but that is usually the most likely other one to be mentioned.

But, I do also have another older half brother from my dad’s side.

It’s not that we don’t get along…. I just don’t know him very well.

I’ve only heard bits and pieces of the whole story… and I’m sure that’s probably a good thing.

But I do know that my dad’s relationship with his mother ended in a domestic violence incident that involved a baseball bat, and was significant enough that jail was involved even back in the 70s… though I’ve also heard hintings that my dad’s lawyer buddy got him off much lighter than it should have been in some manner or another.

And so… as a child, the only real times that I saw this half-brother were a couple times a year, mainly holidays, when my grandmother would pick him up and bring him to the family gatherings at one of my uncles for the day.

Even then… he usually hung around with the older kids, while I hung around with the female cousins close to my age… so interaction was still pretty limited even at that.

My only real memories of him much as a kid mostly involve conversations with one particular cousin about him being snoody and thinking he was better than the rest of us because his mom and stepdad had good jobs that paid well, and he lived in the more exclusive suburbs, and had the sort of toys that nobody else in the family would ever see. I don’t actually remember any interactions with him like that, just the cousin sessions.

Most of my memories when a bit older mostly just involve feeling like we were strangers with absolutely nothing in common. When I was in college, he was the goth sort, always in black, very into his servers and lan parties and that sort of thing. A bit older, he was more into the keeping up with the latest toys…. the expensive house.. the perfect picky princess of a first wife… pics of his fancy convertible… even running for political office at one point.

We mainly saw each other only at funerals… and later on, through facebook postings.

Again… not like we didn’t get along or had the issues like my older half brother… it’s just that we ran in different worlds. He had his life, and his other half siblings that he was raised with… my younger brother and I just lived in a different one, and never really thought much about it.

Except… now we attend the same church.

I’m still not really sure how to take that.

About the time he married his second wife and had their first kid, he started posting more God related stuff, and got actively involved in the Celebrate Recovery program.. even being a leader of that program at another large church, and more recently a middle school program leader…

But, I guess this spring they changed churches…. and, like us, were hooked quickly with the youth group with his wife’s older kids.

Which brought the realization that they have been married for 8 years now, and we’ve never once met the older kids. We actually had to search for their pages on facebook to show my daughter who they were to see if they’d met each other.

Nor have we ever met their 4-5 year old. The last time we saw the elementary school aged son, he was a toddler, and the only time I had seen him before that, he was an itty bitty baby, maybe a few months old at most.

Given that it’s a big church though, my first thought is that it’s probably not even likely that we’d see each other.

But then, this week, I’d gone ahead and sat down early after my kiddo headed over to work in one of the little kids rooms for second service… and their older kids, not having the foggiest clue who I was or what I looked like, sat down on the other end of the same row…. so when the brother came in, we ended up sharing the row and chatting a little bit about an uncle I’d run into the previous weekend after not seeing in a long time.

But so much, it still just felt like someone who is mostly a stranger that happens to look a lot like me.

It’s kind of interesting…

But also still just a bit awkward, that I don’t really know how to react just yet….

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