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.