I was reflecting on brotherhood and thought I would share a few thoughts. First, for the ladies out there, I know there is also a similar concept called Sisterhood, but despite being around women all my life, my understanding is limited to keeping me from inadvertently upsetting them as often as I used to. I don’t know if Sisterhood is the same, similar or completely different, so I will leave that to someone else. Brotherhood is a strong invisible bond felt between men, instanced by different situations. The strongest is probably that of men who have fought side by side in battle, in situations where they leaned on each other, cried without shame, saw horrors, and saved each others lives. All great generals know that soldiers fight for their brothers on the line, not for country, ideals, or concepts. It is that deep comaraderie.
My best friend Scott and I met in 1989. Throughout the years, any time we meet new people together or go to dinner, the movies, etc., we are usually asked if we are brothers. We look a bit similar and maybe act a bit a like, but there has always been this kinship. The minute we met, we were brothers from different mothers, and just clicked. For us to play games like Taboo where we give clues to each other is almost cheating, as we think on the same wave length. But why? He has an entirely different past, present and future than I do. We think alike, but we make totally different life choices. We argue at times and mostly I annoy him, as I am annoying in general, but the relationship stays.
My own biological brother and I have no bond and nothing in common. I think he is dead, but no one knows for sure. About twenty years ago I had an address for him in Ocean City, California. Hesitantly, I went to drive by his place with my wife. If it did not look too bad, maybe even say hello. We found his place. You can’t make this up – it was surrounded by police cars and there was my brother on the hood being cuffed and arrested. My wife and I figured maybe we could say hello later. No one is my family has heard from him since.
I have had many close friends over the years that I felt the bond of brotherhood. My friends George and Kevin in Hawaii, my great friend Frank Chow who now lives in California. Growing up my friends Jerry and Mark. I have been blessed with the bonds of brotherhood. To my pleasant surprise, I now have that same bond with my own son – Alex, 24. We will always be father and son as well, but now that he has grown to manhood, we can share our hopes and sorrows together, hang-out and support each other, and I feel that solid brotherhood connection.
Where does it come from? Is it chemical? Is it chosen by God? Is it simple circumstance like a shared foxhole? I wish I could distill and manufacture it for others because to experience it is very special. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.