My brother Dennis is the sibling with whom I have the most in common. This was evident from early on in life; in pictures from our childhood Dennis and I often have the same expression…whether I was doing it to mimic him, or there was something intrinsic that brought it out in both of us can’t be known. Regardless, these are moments captured in time of us as one in the same, and they are some of my favorite photos, because being Dennis’ sister is one of my favorite roles in life, and being likened to him is one of the highest compliments I think I can be paid.
I think if there is anyone to whom I feel kindred it is Dennis. My father actually jokingly used to call me Dennis because our similarities are almost uncanny. We share similar interests, have the same likes and dislikes, generally have the same disposition and perspective…commonalities that our respective spouses even to this day continue to be surprised to discover. We joke that our genetic identity must be nearly identical, except for the markers related to gender. When I discovered that I, like he, am a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene I called him and told him it was the one time in my life I was annoyed to have something in common with him, and that is honestly the truth.
Dennis is an amazing brother. He has been one of my biggest supporters and advocates since I was little…from sneaking carrots off my plate so that I could be excused from dinner to being one of the first people I turn to when I need advice or guidance. Just earlier this year Dennis, after reading my post about losing my wedding ring, called me to encourage me that it would turn up, helped me frame it in perspective and even laugh about it. And that’s exactly what Dennis does, not just for me but for all of his family: he encourages us, balances us, and helps us see the levity in even the most stressful of situations. Dennis’ humor is rivaled only by his heart: he cares so deeply and profoundly for his family, and I am so blessed to be the recipient of that love by being his sister.
There’s no one in this life I’d rather watch a Twilight Zone marathon with, no one who’d truly understand my Haunted Mansion obsession (since it’s his, too), no one with whom I would more trust what I hold most personal, no one who I’d rather be linked to than Dennis. My life is filled with so much love and laughter because of him. You can see that in the pictures of us when we’re little, and you can see it in how inexpressively happy I am to be his sister.
A rare departure from our usual shared expression;
Dennis wanted us to look scared to be in the Haunted Mansion secret hallway...
I was too excited to be there, to happy to share that moment with him