Adrienne Jerram

Adrienne Jerram

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Last night my brother told me he's moving out of Sydney. It's not unexpected, Sydney's expensive and his family is young. It's not unwelcome, it's a great break for him an the children will love it. But when he told me he was going I felt ... well devastated.

It's not like (to look at) you would call our family close, but me, my brother and my sister do share a closeness. My parents were immigrants, and that meant that every Christmas, holiday and birthday celebration, there was just the five of us. I used to envy people with uncles and aunts, and cousins always sounded like a lot of fun. But we had just the five of us. Mum, Dad, my sister, me, and my brother. There is a history that was created and shared by only the five of us.

For a first generation Australian my brother is in many ways the Australian archetype male (at least all the good parts). He's intelligent but whispers his intelligence in such a quiet hush, you would miss it unless you were really paying attention. He's loving, but shows his love with a nod or a grunt, or by offering a hand.  He's hardworking but playful, and cheeky and disrespectful to authority and I hope he always will be.

I'm his little sister and he would always do anything for me. I once moved three times in a year, and each time he was there, under the fridge, or the impossible to lift sofa bed, sweating buckets.

When I was at Uni I bought a car that should probably have been condemned to the scrap heap. It cost me $250 to buy $500 to fix up and $200 to register. It was red with one white door. Five weeks after it was finally roadworthy I crashed it in the parking lot of Hornsby Northgate. I thought it was done for, but minutes after I brought it home my brother jumped on to it, with a sledge hammer and started banging it back to straight. A funny image made even funnier because he was in plaster up to his knee after practising skiing on a slippery dip.

I'm going to miss my brother, his children and his miracle of a wife ... and not only next time I want to move. Still I hope he goes on to create his own family history, a history shared by just the four of them.

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