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



Thank you to  TaraAnnaDanaStacey,  Betsy  and Beth  our hosts at Two Writing Teachers for nurturing this writing community.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Missing a Mentor

  1. My daughter just celebrated her sweet 16 too – I blogged about her marathon b’day party. How sweet your children miss each one another – you’ve done a great job! 🙂

  2. I adore this! Oh my you had my heart in this one. The brother/sister bong is strange and sacred. Funny how sisters will take he tiniest bit of attention from their big brothers. Your poem that follows is wonderful.

  3. Both lovely and tough for the one left behind, Julieanne. He needs some different things now, & perhaps doesn’t realize that his little shadow misses him a lot. I too had an older son with a younger daughter. It was tough. A few times, she went to visit him at his college and that helped him to see that she wasn’t so little anymore, but still they are in such different places. You wrote this with such love. thanks for sharing.

  4. This story reminds me of me and my little sister. She is nine years younger than me and she worshipped me and our older sister (one year older than me.) She liked the music we listened to, watched the soap operas we watched, said the things we said….so many memories! I am so glad to see you are still writing poems – I have not been too good at that lately! I loved the line “Attached at the heart…”

  5. “lingering, just below,
    achey, unused muscles.”
    Our youngest daughter was the only one left home for awhile. I remember watching her and thinking how hard it must be to always have your siblings and then one day to be all alone. As an oldest child, I was alone first and always remember my brothers being there. How hard it must be to be the youngest.


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