Happy birthday, Doug. Today, is my brother’s birthday. I believe he would rather I use the name “Barry”, however, as I haven’t seen or heard from him in over 30+ years, I find it difficult to call him by his other name. The last time I spoke with him, he was still known as Doug, to me.
There’s not really much I can say about Doug. He is the third child in our family, he did live in Ottawa for a few years while I was there, and he doesn’t really chat with the family any longer.
I tried to keep up a relationship with him while we lived in Ottawa. He had his life, I had mine. However, once in a while I would go to visit him at his home. The only thing that really stands out for me, is that he had a very ‘up and down’ temper. At one point, he would be laughing and having a good time, and in a split second, could be angry and hate everyone and everything.
The last time I visited him, he got angry at him because he thought I called the police. I don’t know what gave him that idea, but just as I was leaving his home, he slammed the door so hard just as I was leaving, I could feel the pressure of the wind on my back. That was the last time we ever saw each other.
I have found out that, over these past few years, he is living in London. Coincidentally, that is also where the rest of my family lives – Ted, Robin, Debby, and Scott. My parents live about a half hour north of London, but still close enough.
The only person (apparently) he is in contact with, is my sister Debby. While I was home in September 2010, I did ask Debby to try to get Doug and I together. I don’t know whether she even spoke to him. I’d like to believe that she did. However, during the three weeks I was there, I never heard another word about him.
I’m not sure what happened over the years to drive such a wedge between he and the rest of the family. As well, I’m not sure why he will only stay in contact with Debby. He is 3 years younger than me. As children, granted, I don’t think we had the closest of sibling relationships. Then again, I don’t really think that he, Ted, or I had a close brotherly relationship at all. Sure, we did have our moments, but more often than not, we all seemed to dislike each other.
Even Ted and I seem to be odds. And I don’t understand why. You know, when we are children, and this goes for anyone, there is always a bit of ‘sibling rivalry’. We perceive that our parents like one of the other siblings better. One our siblings does better in school. One of our siblings has more friends. Whatever the problem, or rather, perceived problem, as children, you’d think that as we grow up (physically and mentally), that all those childhood rivalries or problems, would dissipate over time.
Now, perhaps some of these problems are more deep-seated than I am aware. I have to realize that I haven’t lived in Canada for 10 years, and I haven’t lived in or around my family for almost 30 years. I am not privy to a lot of the discussions that go on between the family. Granted, since getting in touch with everyone almost a year ago after a hiatus of 10 years, I have learned a bit of what is happening now.
It does sadden me that, after all these years, rivalries and hurt feelings still plague our family. As for myself, I feel that I have made an effort to resolve a lot of personal issues that I once had. I have been reacquainted with my two younger siblings, and feel very close to them. I have found a new respect for my father.
As we get older, I find it more and more difficult to hold onto all the negative feelings that I had had over my younger years. I only have one request. That being, to reunite the family and try to be civil with each other before it’s too late.
Then again, it may already be too late. Feelings run deep. They also don’t go away. It is difficult at times to confront those feelings. We all have to realize that we are now adults. We are no longer children. Carrying on like little kids in a playground, is silly.
Time is a funny thing. After so long, trying to figure out what caused such problems 30 years ago, may be difficult to sort out. Let bygones be bygones. We’ve all grown up. We’ve all lived our lives. We all have our own families. We’ve all had the chance to make our own choices.
I would like to see one day, where my family can actually sit down and talk, or share a holiday together again – as a family.
That’s it, that’s all… for now!