Brother: (n) a man or boy in relation to other sons and daughters of his parents.
I will tell you that those four individuals have importance in my life because we lived in a common household. But they are not closer to me than other folks who have stumbled across my path.
I believe we could have been great kinfolk–more intimate. But it is really the mother and father who decide how tight the bond will be among the children.
For instance, it is possible to accidentally pit your offspring against each other. Too much competition in a house creates enemies instead of fellow-laborers. And of course, favoritism makes one child work too hard and another one skate on thin ice.
Two of my brothers have already passed on. The oldest one never totally understood me and we never came to peace with each other. The second ghost and I had a violent relationship, which simmered into a warm broth, which we were able to enjoy.
And my other two brothers–well, we bounce between contact and alienation.
Now, it was my joy to be the father of three sons and three other young men that I “godfathered” to adulthood.
I must have done something right, because they don’t hate each other. Or maybe they just decided to ignore my attempts to generate boundaries and chasms, and worked on finding common ground.
I don’t know which one it is–but I will give you the definition for brother:
It is not someone of your own household who shares a mom with you.
It is not a male Christian counterpart who communes with you at an altar.
A brother is, and always will be, someone who refuses to believe the gossip he hears about you, but instead, comes to you directly…to get the real story.