About a month ago, my brother told me he and his family were moving to San Diego because he got a job there. My heart sank. He moved here back in 2007 when our oldest boys were just toddlers. I had TJ then he had his daughter, Isabella.
I hurt a lot for my kids who are losing their best friends. I have always loved how our kids are close in age, how they have grown up together and how in this big state that’s in a big country, they had family close enough to visit often and spend sleepovers, birthdays and holidays together.
Whenever I tell someone I’m from Saipan and explain how far, how incredibly, vastly away far it is from Seattle, I am asked if I have any family here. I love saying that my brother lives here and we have kids are about the same age. It’s always given me comfort because I am so far away from home and it’s been such a relief to have my brother living in the same area.
Some stories about my brother, George:
-We took a comedy class together but we had taken it before but separately and started arguing over who took it first. The comic who taught the class said, “Wow, you really are siblings.”
-One time he walked into my room, holding up a tube of lipstick and said, “Say this is yours, Ramona.” So I walked into the next room where his girlfriend was and said, “Thanks for finding my lipstick!” I was 12. The only lipstick I wore came from stolen swipes from my mom.
-Whenever a girl would call the house for my brother and ask, “Are you the maid?” I would say no and tell her I would let him know she called, WHICH I NEVER DID because I am the not the maid! Sorry George. I did this a lot.
-I took three-minute showers because my brother would sometimes sneak in, rip open the curtain and scream which sent me into a Bates Motel shriek.
-We were driving in separate cars when someone on the freeway waved at us and signaled that we had a flat tire. We managed to take the exit and pull into a parking lot. A guy asked if we needed help and I said yes. Then George pulled up and he and this kind man changed out our tire. He’s never brought it up, the way I bring up how his girlfriends mistook me for a housekeeper. That was very nice of him.
I know we’ll see each other again. But still, it’s not the same. San Diego is pretty but it’s not a thirty-minute drive away.
Nathan took this shot of us and of course TJ gave us his best side.