Julie Lyles Carr: My Brother, My Friend

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Brother, My Friend

mike and dave '88 001
The year was 1987. I had managed, much to the shock of many of my classmates, to catch the eye of the Big Man on Campus.

The Big Man on Campus was Mike.

And I was pretty much the Socially Awkward Non-Social-Game Playing Bibliophile on Campus.

And Mike somehow decided he wanted to get to know me better.

In a short course of time, we had fallen deeply madly crazily. In love.

In the spring of 1988, we headed west to the mountains to visit my parents and my youngest brother who was still living at home. My brother DWL was 14 years old at the time, the same age as my 3 of 8 today. DWL had not yet met Mike in our months of dating. DWL was still a little tween-ager when I left for school, six years younger, a punk kid still in junior high as I entered the heady world of the university.

But for Mike and DWL, it was an immediate friendship.

Mike tooled around town with DWL in tow, engaging in crazy antics at drive-thru windows and showing DWL how to ask for girls' phone numbers. DWL was smitten.

And Mike found the younger brother he'd never had.

My other brother RL attended the same university as Mike and me and we were all dear friends (still are) while in school together. But DWL was enough younger that for several years as Mike and I dated and married, DWL was the goofy little brother, still coming into his own.

Needless to say, DWL grew up. And up. And our friendship grew and grew.

He's now a handsome dad of four, with a beautiful wife and a sweet life in Oklahoma. And he still calls me most days as he's driving home from work, chatting about his day and asking about mine. For a few years we lived just a couple of miles apart and he was always on hand for the occasional household disaster and some memorable trips to the ER. Our moves have taken us many miles apart, but miles have no impact on connection.

It was a joy to be with he and his family last week, watching my kids using him as a human jungle gym. And I kept looking at my 3 of 8, thinking about how much he reminds me of DWL, how he is presently the same age DWL was when Mike and I started dating.

Generational connections. Family friendships.

Sweet good stuff.

My brother, my friend.

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