My Christmas Story

Let’s just call him my artist brother.  He is the middle child while I’m the fourth of five siblings.  When we were much younger, we’d always fight.  I was easy to be pissed off while he was the “bully.”  You know, that kind of sibling who would tease you and annoy you whenever they have time.  But even when he was taller than I am that time I would challenge him into a fight.  I wasn’t afraid to retaliate.  But I was not the type to hit or punch or kick somebody but more like I will scratch your skin with my fingernails to hurt you.  I remember I’d cry out of anger.  I’ve learned to curse out of anger. So resentment would arise.  I hated him.  For he was a pain in the neck.

When we reached adolescence (he is three years older than I am), I don’t know what happened, the fight and misunderstanding became more less.  Instead of initiating trouble, he’d just do an act of “running away” from me when I was angry.  He no longer had the time to provoke me.  He’d rather stay away and maintain peace than to see me arguing with him.  Until it stopped when we started working.  There were still some misunderstandings but no more of that “brutal” fights.  We’ve become more “civilized.”

Now that we are so old right now, things, of course, are different, thank God.  My brother, who in the past was a very impatient person and would easily get upset when he could not open a canned good with a can opener, has suddenly, to our surprise, developed this talent in cooking and baking.  My brother, who in the past was lazy to cook his own food or even help in cleaning the house, has suddenly, to our surprise, now know about marketing particularly what and where to buy ingredients and the principle of when and why a certain kind of spice is used for this particular dish.  It’s a miracle he can do all that now!

Now living independently, he would just visit us during special occasions.  And yesterday, December 24, to celebrate Christmas, he cooked for all of us.  I assisted him by washing the cooking pot, frying pan, knives, and other cooking tools that he would be using.  And as I observed him performing his culinary skills, I couldn’t believe that this was my brother.  Getting his hands dirty and wet while preparing the ingredients and stuff then standing for so long so he could monitor the progress of his cooking.  He was doing it effortlessly!

Maybe his girlfriend has a good influence on him. Because ever since they’ve been together there has been tremendous improvement in his ways and character.  Maybe it was his own decision because I think he has a more positive outlook in life than I am now.  I don’t know.  I could only guess.  But what I am sure about is that something miraculous had happened to my brother.  We were never close so I consider it a miracle how natural we are when we get to talk, no feeling of awkwardness.  It is a miracle that we could talk as brother and sister now, talking in harmony, talking about shallow topics to the most profound without getting into a fight.  I couldn’t believe that this was my brother.  My brother who once saw himself as the “black sheep” in our family.

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