*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
In Mom’s blog, Blessings, she talked about how she, my Dad, brother(Troy), and other people that were praying for me and wanting to help when I was sick.
As you well know from reading thus far, Mom was with me every step of the way(for which I’m SO grateful). Today, it’s time to look a little more behind the scenes and talk about a special guy that has had made a HUGE impact in my life. He captured my attention from day 1. Who is this special guy? My brother, Troy.
What are the first words that come to mind when I say, “big brother”? Everyone’s answer to this question is going to be different. For me, a number of words come to mind including; friend, protector, compassionate, big heart, loving, REAL, honest, funny, kind, caring, and thoughtful.
Troy’s a bit different than most young men that I personally know. He’s full of love and compassion that’s only shown to grow stronger through his years. “He always has been that way,” Mom says, “even when he was a little boy.” She also says, “He came up to me once, when he was only 2 years old, sensing that something was wrong then gave me a big ole’ hug.”
It doesn’t just stop there though. See the picture at right? That’s Troy sticking one of his fingers in my mouth to keep me from fusing as Mom was fixing a bottle for me when I was just short of new born. When the bottle was ready, guess who wanted to help feed me? Yep, you guessed right, Troy. Mom let him feed me sometimes. I think I must have liked the bonding time with him!
Troy and I are 2 years plus 3 months apart in age. Growing up, we literally did everything together. We liked each other and got along well(the majority of the time). We worked hard on family outdoor projects and chores, and we played hard too. At young ages we were entrepreneurs, having our own vegetable stand and business(special thanks to Dad and Mom’s handiwork, overseeing, and guidance)! We grew a variety of produce… planning, ordering seeds, planting, weeding, harvesting, cleaning and then selling… it was a seemingly never ending process. We had a system though. Troy was the official harvester, and then I’d clean everything that was picked, preparing it for our clients to purchase. Alas, when finished, we were ready to pedal our produce! Mom would drive the little 20 foot fishing boat with 25hp motor, fully loaded with produce and her two kiddos, driving us from dock to dock to our prospective buyers homes on the lake we lived on.
Upon arriving at a potential buyer’s dock, Troy was the sales man(whether he liked it or not) and we would walk up to the homeowners door. And where was I? Well, I was the “cute little brown eyed girl” that just stood there and smiled, winning over our customers with a big brown eyed smile. No offense Troy, you were a good little business man :), but I held the key with sealing the deal! Honestly though, who couldn’t resist two cute kids in oversized tee-shirts that said, “T & K’s Home Grown Vegetables”? We were quite the pair! We would become more well known for our vegetable sales on Sugar Lake over the course of 7 seasons.
As we entered our teenage years we hit the awkward years, but that didn’t set us apart or affect us adversely. When friends came over, the other just blended right into the group of his or her friends. Whether it was all males and I was the only female, or just the opposite, it didn’t matter, we shared our friends and had endless amounts of fun on the lake, in the yard, or in the house playing games. Our friends would even ask if the other wasn’t present, “Where’s Troy/Kelly? Is he/she coming to play with us?”
When Mom found out that she was having me, in her heart she had hoped that Troy and I would be best friends. She NEVER voiced this to anyone, besides my Dad MANY years later, in our high school years. Now you may be thinking that she MADE Troy and I like each other and having us spend so much time together. Well, that may be partly true because we were her kids. But the truth is, Troy and I really LIKED and ENJOYED spending time together. So how’d that happen? Well, my parents had raised us kiddos up in a way that was different than that of societal ways then and also these days. Mom spent a lot of time with us, being a stay at home mom, instilling a firm foundation in our little beings that she’d/they’d be there for us. My parents loved us, encouraged us, challenged us, and taught us a lot. We worked, played, and lived life with our family unit of the four of us most often, but always welcomed friends to join in, family too.
When we got old enough, we could choose to turn away from some or all of the concepts, life lessons, and foundational pillars we were taught. That being said, Troy and I are now both grown adults in our upper 20s, making our own choices, changing dysfunctional traits we don’t like, living our own lives, running our own businesses(Troy – Shores Edge Excavating, and me, Helping Hands Massage). I guess T & K’s home grown vegetables helped guide us to become entrepreneurs! Thanks Mom and Dad!
In the picture below you can see that Troy knew from a young age what he wanted to be in charge!
When I was sick, Troy and I’s relationship didn’t change, except for the fact that I didn’t have as much energy to partake in our crazy adventures. I remember some dark days of laying in our downstairs living room on the floor, in the fetal position curled up as tight as I could, laying on my left side. Troy would come down stairs, round the corner, and seeing me lie there. (I could literally feel his compassion and love before he even made it over to me.) He’d walk over to me asking, “How you doing, Kel?” Other times, he didn’t have to say a word. He’d simply get down to my level and wrap his arms around me in a big embrace. Sometimes, I’d cry into his shirtsleeve and he’d just be there for me, full of love, compassion, and support.
There were other times when I was sick that Troy knew that I was pretty down in my mood. That being said, Troy would bring out his dry, simple humor, trying to make me laugh. Since we don’t share a lot of the same humor at all, it’s comical that he’d actually get me to laugh, or at the very least bring a grin onto my face. He had a way of easing the burden and lighting up life.
Throughout our life, our friendship(being a deep bond) has only grown deeper. We’ve had seasons of times that we’ve grown apart with stuff going on in each of our lives, but that has only helped our relationship grow all the more stronger once we made it past obstacles that separated us.
People say, “Oh, you get older and then you get along better with your siblings.” Well, that may be true, but we’ve always been that way. We act a lot alike. We look alike now that we are older, too! And we finish each other’s sentences. Kind of sounds like were married, eh? Well, we both actually get told that we are married regularly with, “I just met your husband/wife the other day.” We both respond the same way with, “Oh? Is that right? Well, I’m actually not married. You must be talking about my brother/sister.”
These days my brother and I still do a lot together. We enjoy hanging out with each other and our parents, family, and friends(and we still share our friends). We still go on crazy adventures, although they aren’t as wild. And, our conversations are deeper and more enriching for both of us these days. We can talk about anything and everything with each other, which is truly a gift. Speaking for myself, I don’t know many guys that are willing to be REAL, honest, open, and truthful, but Troy is willing to.
Troy isn’t just my brother, he’s my best friend. Guess Mom’s prayer as I was forming in her womb came true, because her kids ARE best friends!
Troy, I thank God for you and am SO blessed to have you as my brother! I LOVE YOU!!!