Thursday, November 20, 2014

Siblings by Angela Benson

I’ve been thinking (and writing) a lot about siblings these days. I only have one — a brother — though there were many times growing up when I thought there were six of him. The boy was a holy terror, sometimes without the holy. 

I have the funniest memories of him growing up. Though he’s three years younger than I am, when he was around five or six, he used to beat me up. He did it because I’d never hit him back. Well, I woke up to that pretty quickly, and accidentally socked him one day. Guess what? My brother’s love of hitting me suddenly faded. 

My brother had a bit of a cruel streak.  He used to torture me with dessert. Like a normal person, I would eat my dessert immediately after the meal. Not my brother. He’d save his for later that night when I had none. Then he’d sit in front of me eating his, waiting for me to ask for a bite so he could deny me. I wish I could say I never asked, but I always did. 

As we grew older, I seemed to get the upper hand on my little brother. My mom worked two jobs when we were kids, so when I was old enough, she gave me cooking chores. My first dish was fried chicken. How hard could it be? I’d seen my mother cook it often. So I fried this chicken. It looked golden brown on the outside but I wondered about the inside. I wasn't sure it was done but I knew how to find out. I served my good-looking chicken to my brother. As I watched him take his first bite and saw the streams of blood flowing out, I concluded the chicken wasn’t quite done yet. Guess what? I never had to cook again. Why? Because my brother refused to eat anything else I cooked. That bloody chicken ended it for him. 

As we got closer to adulthood, things turned a bit more serious. I remember an incident that occurred when I was away at college and my brother was still home. He called me to share a secret about a problem he was facing. He made me promise not to tell our mother. Of course, I promised. Unfortunately, as soon as we hung up the phone, I dialed my mom and told her the secret. Now I love my brother, but there was no way I could keep that secret. To this day, I can’t remember what the secret was; I just remember feeling that it was too big for me too handle. It took my brother a while to get over my lack of discretion and share another secret with me, but thankfully he did. 

One of the dearest memories I have of my brother is the day I realized he’d become an adult with insights to help me with my problems. I remember pulling the phone away from my ear and looking it, while thinking, “When did my little brother become a man?” A very precious moment indeed. 

I cherish my relationship with my brother, as you can probably tell from these stories. Because we live 13 hours apart, we don’t see each other often, but we speak on the phone regularly.  He has a fairly long commute to and from work so very often I “ride” home with him via the phone.

I like to read about relationships that remind me of me and my brother. I love to read about people caring for each other, through the good times and the bad.  

It’s not surprising then that my stories have strong sibling relationships.  I’m waiting for the day my brother recognizes our relationship in one of my stories.  When he does, I’m sure he’ll want a commission.
Siblings. Mine’s a keeper. I hope you know yours are, too.

Siblings are pretty common in stories by Angela Benson. Francine and Dawn in The Amen Sisters. Preacher and Loretta and Barnard and Natalie in Up Pops the Devil.  Issac, Deborah and Michael in Sins of the Father.  Roxanne, Veronica, and Alisha in Delilah’s Daughters. 


  1. I had a big brother, Angela. Brothers love to torment sisters. And that was a clever trick with the chicken to end your cooking duties. Wish I'd thought of it!

    1. Lyn,

      That incident is also the reason I give my husband when I explain why he's a better cook than I am. It's all my brother's fault.

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey with your brother, Angela! Siblings are a true blessing to have.

    1. Ginny, I have to get him to stop by and read it. He'll be tickled.

  3. How sweet! I have two younger brothers who would probably say I was the bigger pain.

    1. I bet they would, too, Aileen, but we know they'd be wrong. Girl power!