family · music

My brother.

Have I told you a million times about my favorite Mumford and Son’s song? It’s called Timshell and these are my favorite lines (if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, you can listen to the song in the player):


In fact, I have these painted on a large canvas in my room. I would have taken a picture of it, but that would have required movement of other body parts besides my hands. And I’m fully against such a thing at 4 in the afternoon.

Last year Travis came out and surprised me for Abby’s birthday. It was the sweetest surprise. AND he got me. How it didn’t get back to me is amazing. I’m connected. But no one told. It was so awesome.

This year, he did it again. And this time, he brought his cute wife along with Joe and Angie Strand. Joe has been a good friend of the family for the past 16 years. He kind of was our comedic relief during the time my dad was sick and after he had died. He’s awesome funny. And so is his wife.  I told her on Facebook that the first time I met her I was going to kiss her on the mouth.  But I need to back up a little.

So we had spent the morning at the church getting things ready. Once we’d finished to the point where we were going home, I got in my car and noticed My Soul on the dashboard. Wow. That sentence needs further explanation. When I was like 15 I shoved a telletubbie figure into an astronaut suit and carried it around in my pocket. I called it My Soul and would try to sell it to people. Mostly so I could say, “I sold My Soul for a Dr. Pepper” and whatnot. But I usually got it back. Then my Damn Brother started stealing it. Then I’d steal it back. The war progressed for many years until a few years back he ended up with it again. Travis gets to go many exotic places, so I let him have it for a little while. My Soul has been to France, to Mozambique, to Vietnam, and all over the states. He (yeah, for some reason My Soul is a dude) tried to jump from the Empire State Building.

So back to the story. There was My Soul. My Soul who I had entrusted to my Damn Brother. But where was Peyton? Yeah. We lost Peyton. So I sent Travis a text asking him if he was there and if he had my child. I thought he’d just grabbed Peyton to be funny. Which was awesome because he didn’t have Peyton (Peyton was hiding in Lance’s car) but it sure scared him. I called him freaking out. He didn’t answer. So I freak out at Lance and swear that if he knew something and wasn’t telling me he’d pay. And then I thought that maybe he had just sent My Soul out for the party. I jump in the shower and as soon as I get out I peek out my window and there they were. And I was naked and soaking wet (yeah boy…hughgughuuu (that was a vomiting sound)). So I threw on the quickest thing I could grab and ran down stairs. Again that feeling of total EXUBERANCE came over me. He did it again! How did I not know?!

I’m super mad we didn’t get pictures with all of us together. But I’m SO SO happy that Misty got some with him and Abby. We’ll see them in a week, so we’ll get a million more then. Check out this picture:
This is my brother. He tries to beat me up and do all of those annoying older brother things. But he’s really something. All of my brothers and brothers in law are. Like the song says, “you are not alone in this. As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand…hold your hand”. He’s helped me to feel like I can do this. Like I’m not alone. The fact that he’d spend the time and money to come out here AGAIN was so so awesome. I love him for that. I love him for the way he treats my kids. Casey adores him. I love him for the nice things he says to me on the phone. For the times that I’ve called and broken down and he still told me I was strong and that he believed in me.

The day before they came out Erin H. and I were out and the song “Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam came on. I told her that when I was in high school I always thought that when that song came on the radio it meant something good was going to happen. I told her about how the year after my father passed away my best friend and his girlfriend lived on the same road. So he’d pick me up to take me home. He’d roll his windows down and put his sunroof back and would blast Yellow Ledbetter on his stereo as we drove down Moon Valley Drive (or whatever it’s called). There was something SO cathartic about that. Every time I hear that song it takes me back to there. To the way I felt. Like even though things were hard, they were still going to be okay. Because I had my brother there with me.

I didn’t kiss Angie on the mouth. The moment passed before I realized it. I’m so angry with myself it keeps me up at night.