On Living in a Small Apartment with my Brother

When you’re a single woman at twenty-eight years old, the fact that you live in a small apartment with your younger brother adds to the general imposing curiosity of those around you. “Oh, I thought you were going to tell me you had a boyfriend,” one of my closest friends tells me after I expressed to her that I had a life update, which happened to be a raise and promotion. “How’s your love life?” even my boss at work questions me every now and again, craving for me to indulge her so she wouldn’t have to feel sorry for me, as if being single at this age were an unfortunate crisis, something she would try to help me “fix” by giving me relationship advice.

I’ve already strayed off topic, though. Late at night I lie in my bed, awakened by the sound of a high-pitched voice coming from the living room, which happened to be one door and a hallway away from my bedroom. The soothing rain sounds have turned themselves off by now on the Amazon Echo which is set to play for exactly one hour while I doze to sleep. I reach to my bedside table, hand grasping for a phone in the darkness. I pick it up, the back light illuminating the space around me, screaming into my brain that it is 1:12am and I have been woken by my brother’s girlfriend’s obnoxious voice. I listened closer, realizing they were playing some sort of video game, and she was just having a blast. The more her entertainment and joy rose, the more my bitterness and frustration leaped, a space shuttle erupting in flames and smoke as it ascended higher into the sky. How dare she wake me in the middle of the night from my precious rest.

One more screechy laugh set me off. I was being personally, deeply, directly disrespected, and I had to do something about it. I flopped out of my bed, still interwoven between the intricacies of my sheets. I stumbled to my door without the wonderful idea of turning on a light, feet crashing into various articles of furniture and shoes left on the floor. I was drunk with anger and disoriented with sleep.

 

I left my brother, Ryan, at home with my parents when I moved off to college after I graduated high school. He was fifteen. I didn’t realize at the time that maintaining closeness in relationships requires work and effort. I was used to the naturalness of being around Ryan every day, and our friendship was something glorious we shared but hadn’t really acknowledged because it was just there. I didn’t realize what it was until I didn’t have it anymore. And I was supposed to be the mature one, the leading example.

Ryan is what Inner Child therapists would label the “Lost Child” dynamic of the family system. His head was filled with Marvel superheroes, Star Wars quotes, and videogame characters. He was downstairs, lost in his own world, while the rest of us were upstairs, me usually attempting to solve the petty arguments my parents were getting in. I was the “Family Hero”- the one who got good grades at school, planning my future collegiate aspirations, making the family look good to outsiders. I couldn’t tell you when or how our roles switched temporarily, or how they switched back, but here I was, ten years later, fumbling for my doorknob, seeking vengeance for an interrupted sleep cycle.

I stormed across the ten-foot hallway, prepared for retribution and sturdy boundary-setting. “Would you please keep it down?” the bitter statement formed as a question burst out of my barely-awake lips. Two sets of eyes gazed back at me, one horrified and the other confused, a lost puppy stopped dead in the blinding headlights of a rampant vehicle. I was taken aback by the meek reaction and compliant nods of approval, but this didn’t stop me from dramatically stomping back to my dim bedroom for extra theatrics. I don’t know what I expected, but it was like I craved a rebuttal, an argument to allow me to release my critical anger, or at least to put me back in my place.

My heart raced into a puddle of tears as I lied back down, trying to cover myself up into a cocoon of blankets despite the heat beaming throughout my body, wanting to shed the parts of me that harbored the guilt of abandoning my brother during his most malleable years, and the parts of me that blamed him for not trying to stay connected with me either. But here we were, living together, trying together, learning together. Outsiders may not understand the intrinsic rationalities of why some people do the things they do, just like I didn’t realize my own purpose of living with my brother until I wrote this essay.

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School.

Taking online classes is very lonely. It’s been a good five years since I’ve been to school, but back then I was taking normal, human interaction classes. Now I’m taking the deep dive into starting 3 online classes while maintaining a full time job. I’m grateful to be working toward finishing my English degree, as I only need 23 more credits to complete. I knew it would be hard work, but currently going into the second week, I am realizing how demanding this will be.

Currently, I am sitting in my office at work. The light coming from my cute pale-blue lamps brighten the small room and I see my owl painting gazing at me. The quiet stillness is calming compared to the bustling energy of people during the day. I am staying late to get some quality study time at a perfect place- a large, wooden desk, double-screen computer monitor action, and best of all- quiet. But, like I said, it is lonely.

I am having to turn down valuable time with friends and family. Now I need to consider dropping my Wednesday night Inner Child class that I help facilitate at a treatment center. Through this, I think God is showing me how precious time is and how I need to treasure those close friends and family who are supportive and understanding. In the past, much of my “study” time was more of an adderall binge than anything. I would cram 8+ hours of paperwriting and test studying in single sessions. I barely made it during that time. Now I am going through it completely sober, and doing things the right way may be harder at times, but it sure feels good.

Tough Day

So, my phone completely broke the other night. I hate Iphones. Ughh. It just simply wouldn’t turn on, even on the charger.

So today I realized I could use my dad’s old, pretty crappy phone (no t9!?) and put my sim card in there. My contacts of course weren’t converted with my luck.

I was looking through my mom’s numbers of the family to put in my phone, and I passed my her number. “Mom cell” and Mom home” were what they were titled. My grandma. Usually when I put my grandmas in my phone, there’s Gma home and cell, and Gma Faust. 2 grandmas. This realization really hit me hard. Emotions totally come and go, and this was definitely very emotional for me.

But, I need to be especially grateful for the Grandma that I still have. She’s 93, but healthy as can be. Still lives at home on her own, drives, and even golfs sometimes. I got a message from her during the time my phone was off, asking me to come by and help her with a puzzle. That put a tear in my eye, and made me so grateful that I have a wonderful, wise, lovely lady grandma in my life that I can spend time with. Meanwhile, Gma Dewey is looking down at me from above, and is with me at all times.

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Obituary

Patricia Ann Dewey, 73, of Aurora, Colorado, passed away on April 3, 2013. The funeral service will be held at Fairmount Mortuary at 430 South Quebec Street on Wednesday, April 10 at 11:00. Pastor Ray Cook of Colorado Community Church will be officiating. Viewing will be held at Fairmount Mortuary on Tuesday, April 9 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Burial will follow the funeral at Fairmount Mortuary.

 
Patricia was born in Tucson, Arizona on February 26, 1940 to Joseph and Edith Wilson. She graduated from Whittier High School, and continued on to receive an Accounting degree from Metro State in Colorado. Patricia had one brother, Richard, who proceeded her in death in 2006. Karen, Patricia’s daughter, was born in La Mirada, California on March 3, 1966.

 
In 1972, Patricia and her family moved to Colorado. She worked as a Controller for Fairmount Mortuary for 18 years. She enjoyed playing golf, camping, and painting. Patricia was also actively involved in Eastern Star.  Patricia is survived by her daughter and son in law, Karen and John Faust, as well as two grandchildren, Jordan and Ryan Faust. She is also survived by two nieces, Jamie and Jodi Wilson. Patricia was very active in her church no matter where she lived. Patricia’s kindness, generosity, joy, love, and humor touched everyone she knew, and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

 

The Reception will be held at Colorado Community Church following  the funeral services. Address can be found below.

 
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Patricia’s honor may be made to:
Colorado Community Church
Deacons Fund
2220 S Chambers Road
Aurora Colorado 80014
(Please write “Patricia Dewey Memorial”
in the memo line of your check)
Or
The Denver Hospice
501 S Cherry Street – Suite 700
Denver Colorado 80246

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