How to Wreck your Cell Phone

There are lots of ways to ruin you cell phone. I thought I’d heard them all when:

1.  It fell from back pocket into toilet.

2. It fell into the hot tub.

3. It got dropped into a pan of dishwater.

4. It got wet when a glass of water wine, beer, or Coke was spilled on it.

5. It got wet when wading in the ocean and the tide came up.

6. It got run over by a lawn mower.

7.  It got run over by a forklift.

8.  It fell into a bucket of diesel fluid.

No amount of rice is going to save it.

The last two are from my little brother who lives in the same state as me (though at opposite ends). I hadn’t seen him since the last family reunion in 2004. I remember buying him a ticket that year to fly to Colorado.

Then life happened – separation, divorce (mine, not his), children going off to college (mine, not his), moving (both of us), closing a shop (me), changing jobs (him), an aging parent and an older sister with medical problems.  We never got together. Once, I was flying home from Iowa after our mom broke her neck while he was flying to Iowa from L.A. Our jet airplanes were like two ships passing in the night.

I’m ten years older. We were buds until I left for college. Then he became an awkward pre-teen, and I became inundated with studying, work, study abroad and job hunting.  I remember that once I came home from college for the weekend, and he wanted me to play ball with him. I was too tired.

Oh, how I wish I could go back and say yes.

Once I left home for good and moved to Nebraska to teach, I didn’t think much about keeping in touch. I was a busy teacher looking for love and not thinking about my 12-year-old brother.

When he was 18, my youngest brother left for California and never came back. He met a woman, had a family, and worked on cars.  We didn’t have much in common anymore.  I moved to California when I was thirty and a newlywed.  I sent him cards, letters and gifts for Christmas and birthdays but never heard back. Eventually I stopped.

Tonight, after three of us visited our oldest sis in her care home, we found out his flight was delayed. I offered to buy everyone dinner. We squeezed into the restaurant called Esin, sat at the bar, and had a lovely meal.  I paid and told him I’d buy him a dinner every 18 years. Ha ha.

He’s the 5th sibling out of five. I’m second.  Our friendship didn’t manage to last a lifetime. 

At least we still like each other when we do get together.

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