This week my brothers, Tom and Jim Huffman, came for a visit. Jim lives in Omaha and Tom is in Phoenix, so it was a treat to have all of us together in the same room.
As the visit progressed, we began to swap stories of when we were young.
Tom picked up a pen and paper and said, “I want to write all this down.” Soon the scribbles covered the page and we were off down memory lane.
Since our dad, George Huffman, built our homes, we started with that topic. It wasn’t unusual for us to move. I lived in 19 homes by the time I was 19. Dad loved to build houses and would sell the one we were in and build us a new one. It happened so often that both Tom and I when we returned from college had to ring the doorbell to make sure whether we still lived there or we had moved.
We all knew that we did not hang pictures on the wall or use the dishwasher because the house had to be in tiptop shape for the next owner.
During our visit, we learned more about each other that we ever have. It was an out-of-this-world experience. We talked about everything Jim would recall something, which would remind Tom of a memory, and then I would chime in. It was like a pinball game — we just kept bouncing memories back and forth among the three of us.
For the first time in my life, I felt like I wasn’t the dumb little sister. As many of you know from having older brothers, picking on little sisters is their job. And my brothers took it very seriously. Each brother had an arm they would slug as they walked by. It was as though they just had to remind me I was the little sister. I had always had a bruise on my arm somewhere.
It was interesting that memories that seemed life changing to me were unimportant to them. Things I remembered in great detail, they didn’t seem to remember at all. Go figure. But one thing we agreed on was our mother, Lorena. She was always there for us. Dad was off building beautiful homes that were in demand and sold as fast as he could build them, so our mother stepped up and made sure that every game and every dance recital was covered.
It warmed my heart to see how respectfully and sweetly my brothers spoke of our mother. Growing up, especially as teenagers, they seemed so unaware of her goodness and devotion. I was so glad to hear they really did see her for who she was. The best mom ever,
This visit with my brothers was a long time in coming and happened because they were traveling together and passing through North Platte. But one thing we agreed on. We needed to get together more often. It is so easy to just talk on the phone and go about our lives in different cities. But it is so important to be in the same room as the same time and talk about all the memories we shared growing up.
It was a special afternoon, and I treasured the hours I spent with my big brothers.
And neither one of them slugged me in the arm. I guess that means I am all grown up.