I had a long day at work on Tuesday. I arrived home, prepared dinner for my spouse and myself, then went to the basement to relax. I was so beat, I fell asleep in my spouse’s arms.
About 8pm, my spouse shook me awake. I thought he would suggest that we go to bed early. However, he said, “someone’s at the door.” My spouse never answers the doorbell, ever, so I went up and was flabbergasted when…
…in walked my twin brother and his wife!
I had no idea they were coming home! I let out a yell of joy, though in the basement, my spouse thought something was seriously wrong and came running.
I have to step back a bit to give context.
My twin brother has been working as a volunteer translator in war-torn areas of the world. He was almost shot (twice), his camp was bombed, and he was forced to evacuate the camp three times. He was head-deep in serious and potentially life-threatening situations.
But he wouldn’t abandon the doctors he was supporting. When his three month term of service ended in June, he stayed on. Again, he stayed through scorching desert summer of July, August, and all the way until November 14. Only then he returned to his home in Italy and his colleagues returned to their homes since their work was deemed to be too dangerous to continue.
I was in constant communication with my sister-in-law throughout the duration of my brother’s deployment. She was quite worried because her contact with her husband was sporadic.
As soon as my brother arrived at his home, he called me. I knew from that first conversation and subsequent chats that he would need a lot of time to recover, decompress, and get professional help to deal with all he witnessed. He has some serious post-traumatic stress. I suggested that he consider visiting me, whenever he felt up to it. But I didn’t think he would do that so quickly!
As we talked throughout the day today, he told me that being “home-home” with me, my husband, and his wife, as well as our brothers and sisters (& family), being nearby is what he wanted and needed most. He just needs to talk, and I’m here to listen. Goodness knows how he was there for me all these years, especially during my husband’s lengthy illness.
He accompanied me today as I ran errands to get ready for our large Thanksgiving “no senior is lonely” pot-luck Feastival. We picked up supplies (plates, cups, utensils, paper products, trash bags, etc.), folding chairs, TV trays, and other necessities that we’ll need to feed our 100 guests (approximately).
But he also spent some quality time visiting with our siblings, nieces, and nephews who came to see him and welcome him home while I roasted two large turkeys, let them cool, and carve them in preparation for the first visitors arriving on Thanksgiving.
For me — his very presence is the best gift in the world. He has always been my rock, best friend, and soulmate as only a twin can be. He is very close to my husband, as well. So when I have to return to work next week and through December, my husband and brother can hang out together and do wonders for each other. His wife is a wonderful woman, too. I enjoy visiting with her, as do my siblings. She also will be well cared for and loved.
Life is short: show those you love how you love them, and Happy Thanksgiving!