Reasons to Stay Alive

When it comes down to it, it is often the little things that get me out of bed in the morning. On Monday for instance, I had a badass outfit to wear. Seriously folks, that’s what ultimately convinced me to not snooze my alarm for the fifth time. I’m telling you, it’s joy in the small things.

However, when it comes to the moments in which I am figuratively, if not literally, talking myself off a ledge, it is people 100% of the time that motivates me not to kill myself. Sometimes it is “people” in the broader sense: where I envision the sea of faces that I care about, and that is what stops me.

Other days the impetus comes from a specific person -and this changes depending on the day or moment, there isn’t necessarily a rhyme or reason to it. Those are the days when a particular face or name comes to mind. 

Frequently, my brothers take turns being reasons for staying put on the planet.

I could write a novel’s worth of words about my brothers, or about the sibling relationship in general. About how I admire each of them in different ways. How I am envious of each of them in different seasons for different things. How I want the best for them all the time, and sometimes this comes out in muddled attempts to micro-manage their lives -like trying to find the right college for them, or helping them apply for jobs I think they’d be great at. Trust me, they love this.

And I love that I get to have such different relationships with each of them. And that these relationships are fluid and ever-changing, but still very much the same.

My youngest brother is eight years younger than me. We like to joke that he is basically the boy version of me, but magnified. He is bigger, louder, bolder and probably smarter. He definitely has a better memory, which is great because I use him like a human Encyclopedia.

Recently I have been thrilled to see our relationship start to transition from just big-sister/little-brother to being more like peers. Going from teaching him his ABCs and telling bedtime stories to being real and sharing the dark scary shit with one another.



My other younger brother, my middle bro, is closest to me in age. We had endless adventures together as kids, as well as countless, sometimes vicious, fights. This brother is probably the calmest and nicest of all us siblings though, so the viciousness in the fights was mostly me. He is also super sweet and graciously allowed me to use him as a pseudo-little-sister for most of my teenage years: he went shopping with me, watched chick-flicks with me, and did other assorted sisterly tasks. He is also the cuddliest and smiliest of us kids: basically he is like an adorable teddy-bear. He’s pretty great. We still have adventures.



My older brother is my original partner in crime. He has a terrible, irreverent sense of humor, which he uses sometimes to hide his huge heart. And though he can come off as being overly-cavalier about things, he is still somehow the person you want to tell your secrets to. Maybe because he will take them seriously, but not too seriously.

We commiserate about sharing a lot of the same dysfunctional habits in our adult lives; we encourage one-another as we wrestle with them. And we laugh a lot.


I know not everyone has this with their siblings; I count myself beyond blessed that I had these three wonderful guys to navigate growing up with, and now we get to navigate the ups and downs of adulthood together as well. You guys are wonderful!



  1. Such a lovely post!

  2. Debra Brouhard · · Reply


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