I recently flew interstate for my oldest brother’s wedding. I come from a large family, one of seven boys. We are all from the same marriage, but our parents are no longer together.

At the wedding, I was sitting down drinking my way through several bottles of excellent wine (cheers bro!) when the speeches started. The eldest brother close to my age was the best man, and his speech focused on his memories of our own “band of brothers” growing up.

The stories that he recalled were about the ridiculously dangerous games we used to play, most of which I remembered quite vividly. We weren’t a sporting family, preferring to play games that focused on far more sensitive topics. Such as World War One. World War Two. The French Foreign Legion. And, of course, the Belgians in the Congo.

The rules for the games invariably had the stronger and taller older brothers pitted against the smaller and more easily injured younger brothers. During the Battle of Britain, for example, I can remember being required to ram into a much bigger and faster bike with my tiny-barely-out-of-training-wheels vehicle. I was injured.

During the Belgian invasion of the Congo, I was required to jump out of trees that were twice my size in an attempt to tackle my brothers to the ground. I was injured.

Despite the Purple Hearts I earned on the field, these days were incredible. They were fun, but they were more than that. They were times when we created a bond that has never yet been broken, despite all the times it has been tested.

It seems strange, on the rare occasions when all seven of us gather in a bar and share a drink, to look back on the days gone by when we were all so young and playing outside in the Western Australian sun was the only thing that mattered. We have all grown up, started and ended relationships, been through our individual rough patches and tried our hardest to come out the other side swinging.

After everything that’s happened, I can honestly say that in my brothers I managed to find 6 best friends who will be with me for a long time yet.

So here’s to families. The broken ones and the ones that never crack, and the ones that manage to put themselves back together no matter how hard it seems.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s