Slice of Life: Missing a Mentor

Every Tuesday writers share a Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. Please join in if you are so inclined. It is a wonderful community of writers, readers and teachers.   You can read more slices here. 11454297503_e27946e4ff_hYesterday we went to dinner at Benihana’s for my youngest’s 16th birthday. Her choice.

We did the usual things you do at Benihana’s, which is watch amazed as the chef does their magic in front of you. Before and after this dinner is where my story lies.

Earlier that day, I had texted both of her brothers to make sure they gave their sister a call or a text. At about 4 pm neither had done this. Checking my phone, my daughter notices a text from brother number 2.

“Mom, did you notice this text? He’s gonna use my old phone rather than replace the one he lost. Too expensive. Some brother, he hasn’t texted me happy birthday!”

I text him. Reminding him.

Immediately a text comes through.

She tells me and seems satisfied.

Maybe a half hour later, she says, “He isn’t coming up to diner?”

I am kind of surprised she thought this was a possibility.  “You miss your brother.”


He’s been away  for two years. Growing up, she followed his every move. She dressed like him: superhero costumes, t-shirts, shorts.  Followed him into the sports he choose: swimming, surfing.  She was an athlete and a tomboy through middle school. Keeping up with him was a major concern. Being like him was the goal.

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When he went away to school, I knew it would be hard on her.  Many of his younger friends become surrogate brothers. She had seemingly adjusted to his absence.

Last night as we drove home, she started talking about him. How when we went to dinner she’d always order what he had, because he had good taste. If she ordered before him and it ended up being different than his order, she would switch to his choice. How he taught her how to cut meat properly. How she was so proud when others said she looked like him.  “You know what Mom, someone at swim said I swim like him.”

“Yes, you do,” I responded.

“Do you remember when people thought we were twins?”

“Yes, I do. Miss your brother?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Me too.”


Missing a mentor

Attached at the heart

Tender memories surface

Taking you aback

Clinging, holding on

Lingering, just below

Achy unused muscles

Infused with the past

Responds to fresh



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