From the day I could talk and walk I was harassed by a brother we affectionately called the "niggler." For years he played the piano and had developed almost inhumane strength in his hands. In a second he could grab onto your leg and have you screaming in mercy. He locked me out of the house, beat me senseless, heckled me from the stands and could wind me into an absolute fit. He was in every sense of the word - the niggler.
As I grew up our relationship didn't change much. I got bigger so I could put up a decent fight for the remote, but mentally I still succumbed to his power. Unfortunately, these childish skirmishes turned into more serious confrontations, and then what used to be jokes turned into real splintering moments. I tried to promise myself every vacation I would work hard to be more patient and less sensitive. And then, something would happen, something would be said and the hard feelings would only increase. I have always regretted the relationship I have with my brother, and feared it would never change.
Yesterday it was his birthday. He's now 33 years old, has three kids and is almost finished becoming a full fledge doctor. For his birthday I decided to apologize for being my fair share of sensitive, insensitive and basically an ass. This morning I woke up and found this response:
Thanks again for your kind note. It was very well received. You have nothing to regret--afterall, you grew up with the niggler.
I guess we both are growing up.