Fighting and Forgiving

I joined the Wisor clan 11,367 days ago, which is also the day I received my first gift. A gift that would continue to improve over time. So, what kind of gift could a baby get within their first couple breaths? A brother! Not only was I fortunate enough to have a big brother, but also a hero. Growing up Josh and I did fight a good bit of the time, but we never argued for long. Most of our arguments would be over something stupid like who gets to have the remote and control the tv. My dad was a single father, so he had to deal with almost all of our fights on his own. I will say that I pushed Josh to his limit a good bit of the time. I knew exactly what to say or do to piss him off. I was the baby of the family and a daddy’s girl so my dad did pick my side many times. In hindsight, I was a little bitch at times and if I could change the way I acted towards Josh during our younger years I would.

Being a big brother holds some responsibilities. Josh made sure to defend me when my dad wasn’t around. Since my parents were divorced, and lived in different states, my brother was in charge of making sure that I was safe. I was fearful to be away from my dad, but I never felt afraid when Josh was with me. I knew that if anybody tried to hurt me when he was around, he would put up a good fight to make sure I was protected. I don’t know if Josh ever noticed, but I looked up to him. I still look up to him. He was/is so intelligent. I remember getting so annoyed and mad with Josh when I was in middle/high school. He didn’t even have to bring his books home from school and he could get straight A’s on his report card. Oppositely, I would have to bring books home and study just to get decent grades. Neither one of us really cared about school. Since my dad had to support his family on his own, he had to have a good full-time job. The only problem with that was because Josh and I both didn’t like going to school, we would occasionally skip. By occasionally I mean more often than allowed by the school. One year Josh was placed on truancy because he had missed so many school days. Which again, even with him skipping school he still got straight A’s! The school told my dad that a truancy officer would come to our house every morning and make sure he got on the bus. For some reason I only remember the officer coming out a couple times. Maybe they figured since Josh was still getting such good grades that they didn’t need the truancy officer any longer.

 I always loved a good rainy day and skipping school with Josh. He has been a really good cook forever; I was actually surprised that he didn’t go to culinary school, become a chef and open up his own restaurant. On our skipped school days, he would make eggs, pancakes, or French toast. Sometimes I attempted to make scrambled eggs, but I would constantly burn the eggs to the bottom of the pan. What a mess! When I would cook just about anything, I always made sure to use seasoned salt. Josh still picks on me to this day when I cook something, he always asks if I put seasoned salt on it. I’m not honestly sure where he gets his culinary skills, and I’m not sure why I lack so bad in the cooking department. It also seems as though he is going to be passing his expertise down to Elva. Elva eats a lot of Mickey Mouse pancakes! The way Elva looks up to Josh just melts my heart. Being on the outside I am able to see things that Josh may not necessarily see or even realize. Elva looks at Josh like he is superman. To her nothing can hurt daddy!

Family is Everything <3

If you know me at all, you know that my family means everything to me. It’s difficult to put into words just how much my family means to me. My family may be small, but each member means the world to me. My brother always felt a little cheated growing up. I was a daddy’s girl and may have been a little spoiled… Okay, Okay I was spoiled big time… and by was, I mean I still am. I’ve recalled my childhood many times to try and understand where Josh’s feelings of being cheated came from. In order to understand that, I had to first dig a little deeper into how my dad was raised.

My dad was in a way almost brain washed a tad by my grandpa. Boys are to be groomed into becoming a man, that’s what my Grandpa thought anyways. Everything that my pap taught my dad had to do with growing up to be a good tough man. My pap was very strict, so when my dad took on the responsibility of raising Josh on his own, he would only have a way of doing what he was taught, at first anyways. Because of the way my dad was raised, he was stricter on Josh than he was on me. Josh hung out a lot with our cousin’s Cody and Chris. Cody and Chris both lived close to us, so Josh spent a lot of his time with them. At times my dad wouldn’t let Josh go hang out with his friends and he would get mad. He would get even more mad if I was allowed to go hang out with my friends and he wasn’t. Now that we are older, we know that dad did this so it would give him time to spend with Josh. Plus if we were both gone, dad would be all alone, and who wants to be alone?

As I have stated before, we lived on the income of just one parent. My dad did not get child support from my mom either. I don’t think my dad even tried to get child support, I think he was just appreciative to be able to have Josh and I. Anyways, we lived in a trailer and boy did that thing get cold in the winter. I remember we had a vent in the middle of the living room. Every time the furnace kicked on Josh and I would race to the heating vent with a blanket. Often times we would bicker a little bit, but would quickly come to the agreement of laying under a big blanket together and watch tv. Our favorite shows to watch were: Bill Nye the Science Guy, All That, Cow and Chicken, Boy meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Recess, Dexter’s Laboratory, The Wild Thornberry’s, Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Mad TV. I didn’t realize it until right now, but we watched a lot of tv! We didn’t have any tablets or iPad’s back in our childhood days, so we spent a lot of our days playing outside. So much has changed in the last 20 or so years.

               Shotgun! I remember shouting this almost as soon as my eyes opened in the mornings! I’m not even sure where it came from, but saying shotgun before going anywhere was the way of claiming the front seat. Josh would get so mad when I would do this. He didn’t totally get screwed on the deal though, for two reasons. First of all, whoever rode in the front seat on the way to wherever we were going, the opposite sibling would get to sit in the front on the way home. Second of all, I am like a baby and fall asleep if I’m ever in the car for too long. Once I would fall asleep my dad would pull over and put me in the back seat laying down, and Josh would get to get in the front seat. I can see how Josh would feel like my dad was a little “unfair” to him at times though. I believe now that Josh is older and looks back, he can see he wasn’t really ever treated much differently than I was. Josh and my dad had their own things that they did together without me. They went hunting and fishing a lot. I did go hunting with my dad a couple times, I even shot a buck on year. I realized however that this was a good time for Josh and Dad to bond, so I butted out on the hunting. Fishing became a hobby that we all enjoyed, and we had even more fun when we would go together.

               When we weren’t playing outside, we would watch tv or play board games. My favorite fame was Monopoly and I think Josh’s favorite was Scrabble. I still laugh even to this day when I think about playing Monopoly with Josh. I would get so mad when he won… which was 95% of the time. I would flip the whole monopoly game over when I would lose. It made me so mad. Cleaning up all the little pieces would make me even more livid. Josh would just laugh.

Penn State Graduate, Professor and a Dad!

Julie, Elva, and Josh at Josh’s Graduation. Still so proud of him!

I am beyond proud of my brother for so many reasons. To start with, he went to Penn State Main Campus and studied Wildlife & Fisheries Science. He then graduated with a Master’s degree and is working on getting his PhD. He has a full-time job, is a part time professor at Penn State main campus, and is a remarkable father. It gives me such joy to be able to say my brother is a professor at Penn State, even if it is just part time. As I have said before, we were pretty poor growing up. It’s hard to be a single father having no help from anyone, and money was tight. Josh and I never had a college fund set up when we were young. If either of us wanted to go to college, that meant we would be responsible for paying for it. Some kids get lucky in life and they don’t have to pay for their college. Josh and I didn’t have that option. In the end though, once all of his student loans are paid off, he can say that he honestly did it all by himself. In doing all of this, Josh has accomplished what no other Wisor has… which is graduating from one of the best colleges in the US.

Josh, Elva and I at Josh’s Graduation. Clearly Elva was the only one who knew which phone to look at.

               Even though being a part time professor and getting a Masters degree is incredible, what I am most proud of is the father Josh has become. I mean to be fair, he had the world’s best dad growing up, so it’s in his genes. Now that Josh is the father to a little girl, he now gets why dad and I were so close. Elva is a daddy’s girl and I would bet that she can pout her lip and get whatever she wants from Josh. I admire my brother for always putting his family first. A good dad is in charge of molding their children into well-rounded kids. He is the one who you go to for advice, or when you fall down and scrape your knee. A good father can spoil their children without making them rotten. Josh teaches Elva every day, even when he isn’t trying. Elva looks up to Josh, and it’s easy to see that she adores him. He eats breakfast with her, and reads her bedtime stories. He sits with Lionel and tries to teach him how to crawl or say “dada.” He even tries to be a tough dad sometimes, but as I said, once that pouty lip comes out… he melts and his tough dad mood dissolves. Lionel is a mommy’s boy! I keep thinking he’s going to be Aunt B’s little buddy, but I have a feeling he’s going to think Uncle Tyler is cooler. Josh instills in the kids to appreciate things. One of the best traits I think Josh carries is that he shows Elva and Lionel the importance of affection. Josh radiates the love he has for Julie and the kids see this. Even though my dad pretty much raised us alone, and there really was never a female in his life until we were older, he showed Josh and I how important it is to Love. My heart aches for those little girls who have a father that decided to leave and not be a part of their lives. Even though my mother has done wrong, I do feel like in my heart she does love Josh and I. Has it always been easy to feel this love from our mother? Definitely not. Anyways, back to Josh. Another characteristic of Josh that I believe was drilled into his head by our father, is protection. I have always felt like I was protected when Josh was around, especially when my dad was not around and it was just Josh and I. He teaches Elva about things she needs to be aware of and he has her best interest, as well as Lionel’s, in mind when going about their daily routine. Josh was born to be a father. I’m sure it’s not always easy, and it will be harder as the kids age, but I know that Josh will continue to be the best daddy to his children.

My Wonderful Sister-In-Law

Julie on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado, so Beautiful!

This blog is directed towards my brother, but I do want to make sure to mention Julie as well. Julie has become such a big part of our little Wisor family. Josh and Julie went to the same school from Elementary to High School, so they have known each other for quite a while! It was actually my dad that got Josh and Julie to start talking. I don’t believe they were close friends in school, more of acquaintances, with some shared mutual friends. Anyways, Josh finally got the nerve to ask Julie on a date, and the rest is history! I am way beyond grateful to not only have Julie in my life, but to know that my brother has such a loving and compassionate person in his life. Julie has adjusted so well to our family, and she did it all without judgement. She knows the struggles that Josh and I have been through, and the battle that we have within ourselves because of our mother. The amount of love that is inside of Julie is extraordinary. I remember when Julie was pregnant with Elva, she would talk to her and tell her how loved she already was. She did this with Lionel as well. Elva and Lionel are both so blessed to have the parents they have.

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Julie <3

I valued Julie prior to her and Josh having kids, but I cherish her even more so now that she is the mother of my niece and nephew. I’m not sure if Julie even knows how worthy she is. She is a great role model for not only Elva and Lionel, but to me as well. Next is respect. I have been around parents that seem to think… “I’m the adult and I am the only one who needs to be respected around here.” I get the sense that some parents think that they should just constantly be respected no matter what they do. Julie and Josh both know that respect is double-sided. How are children going to learn respect if they are never taught/given respect? On top of all that, she is also extremely loving and supportive. Yes, the kids are young, but they both still need to feel love and support. I am so happy and have peace of mind knowing that Lionel and Elva will never have to question themselves if they are loved by their mother or father. When Josh and Julie got married I was joyful to have gained a sister, but even more happy to have gained a friend. Julie has truly been such a blessing to my family. Julie is so noble. I hope she knows how much she means to me, and how thankful I am every day that my brother married her. I could never have asked for a better partner for my brother. So Julie if you are reading this, I want to thank you for being you! I love you and I am so very grateful for you every day.

My Dear Sweet Brother

I wish there were a way that Josh could look inside my heart and see how much he truly means to me. We have had our share of good and bad times. One thing was certain, we would always pull through the bad times together as a family. I remember when we were younger, we would have little arguments over the pettiest things. We would bicker for so long that my dad would finally lose it. He would just start yelling and for some reason that made Josh and I laugh. My Dad would always tell us that he yelled at us on purpose so we would start getting along again. My brother and I have been through a lot of heartache and pain throughout our lives. Maybe this is what made us so close. One of the times that I remember feeling so much love from Josh was this one time when we were on our way home from Virginia. I’m pretty sure that Josh was with Julie at this time and I was in a relationship with Tyler. Julie and Tyler skipped going to Virginia with us this time, and thank god for that. We went to visit our mom and she had just started dating this weirdo, and his name was Jim. I already didn’t like him because I knew that my mom was never going to find another man that was as good to her as Jimmy was. So, this new Jim already had 1 check against him, he wasn’t a good man for my mom and we knew it. I believe he was addicted to pills and who knows what other types of drugs. He talked so slow and smacked his lips while drinking his damn milkshake. Ugh I hated being there and I hated him. At any rate, on our way back to Pennsylvania, Josh and I stopped to have lunch with Jimmy. Jimmy had been in our life for years at this point and even though he never married my mom, Josh and I still loved him. I remember on our drive home I just started crying. I couldn’t understand why our mom had to start using again. Didn’t she think of us or even Jimmy before using again? I felt so unloved and I remember my brother trying to half hug me while driving. Josh has always been there for me. He was my rock until I met Tyler and then Tyler became my rock. I still go to Josh when I’m feeling down about our mother. I have found since Josh became a father and has his own little family now, that I try to shield some things from reaching Josh. I feel like his main focus in life now is his family. Julie, Elva and Lionel are Josh’s whole world. He shouldn’t have to be stressed out and frustrated because of my mom. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around anyways? Shouldn’t my mom be the one to worry about us? We are the children, why do we have to go through so much?

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               We all get busy in life and sometimes we can forget what really matters. Of course, everyone is different, and I have stated plenty of times that family is everything to me. Looking at Josh during difficult times in life helps me remember when life was a breeze. I look at him and I’m brought back to when we used to play board games at the kitchen table together. I think about the times that we would go camping and ride our bikes together. Such simpler times is what I am reminded of. I am taken back to when we would race to get to the creek first, so we could cast our fishing line out. At that time in my life I wasn’t grossed out by baiting my fishing hook by myself, so it truly was a race to the water to cast first. Almost every Friday night when we were kids my dad would take us to get pizza and we would head to the park to eat and play. If we got Sarina’s pizza from Philipsburg, we would take it to the park by cold stream. If it was a domino’s Friday night, we would take the pizza to the park by the Shaw Public Library. We used to love playing in the army tank at the park by cold stream. Saturday’s in October we would walk in the woods hunting for squirrels. I went just for the sake of hanging out with my brother and dad. It was often a warm sunny day, and the leaves would be so crunchy under our feet. I can still close my eyes, feel the warmth of the Mid October sun and hear the dried leaves crunch under my boots. These memories are still what helps me through hard days.

               I can’t imagine trying to navigate through my childhood if I didn’t have him. He has always been there when I needed him and he’s always picked me up when I was down. I will forever cherish all of our memories. I could never thank him enough for making me an Aunt to two amazing children. I wish that there was a way for him to know how much I love him, and how very proud I am for the man and father he has become. Even though we are older and adults now, I still look to him for advice. I still need my brother in my life. Life will continue on, and so will our bond. It’s been a wild ride the last 31 years of my life, but I’m happy I was able to travel it with you.

My Brother

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As kids, we lived together
We fought, we laughed, we cried.
We did not always show the love,
that we both had inside.
We shared our dreams and plans,
and some secrets too.
All the memories we share,
Is what bonds me now to you.
We grew to find we have a love
that is very strong today.
It’s a love shared by our family,
that will never fade away.
You are my brother not by choice,
but by the nature of our birth.
I could not have chosen a better one
you are the best on earth.

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