Meeting my Brother…

I met my Dad about fourteen years ago somewhere around the age of 20 for the first time ever.  When I met him he told me that I had two identical twin brothers, David and Micheal, from another marriage after him and my mom split up.  He had not seen them in years either, but missed them dearly.  He gave me tons of pictures of them that he had kept over the years of when they were younger and talked about them all the time.  After establishing a relationship with my Dad, I decided to find my brothers and started searching for them.  Eventually, I got a hold of one of them, David, who was living in another state.  He didn’t know that I existed and was happy to hear from me, making me feel loved and accepted by him right away.  Over the next few months we wrote letters back and forth exchanging pictures of each others Families and getting to know one another.  We were both young and trying to find our place in adulthood and after a few months lost touch with one another.  It was impossible to find him again even though I searched over and over and missed getting his letters.  Since the abundance of the internet was not as accessible at the time, I was limited on ways to look for him and grew tired of not finding him anywhere.

Years went by and I had not heard from him.  I always missed him because in the few months that we were writing letters back and forth to one another, there was definitely a connection.  Even though we had never met in person, I knew I loved him dearly as my brother.  He was equally as happy to have a sister and shared with me his life in the letters we wrote.  A few weeks ago, my Mom found him again.  My Dad, who had not seen David since he was seventeen and was now thirty three, wrote him a letter asking if he would call us.  A week went by with no response.  We started thinking maybe he didn’t want to have anything to do with us, till one day he called.  My Dad was so happy to hear his voice, they quickly arranged a meeting that next weekend in Rockport where my parents live on the coast.  David, his wife Sylvia, and baby Jr. all drove down from San Antonio to meet our Dad.  It was a great meeting with no hard feelings and nothing but love, making it easy for them to talk and build a relationship with one another explaining where each of them had been all these years.

We joined them the next weekend getting all three of our Families together for the first time.  I was so nervous about meeting him, but was excited as well.  He finally pulled up that evening in his truck pulling his boat, as I nervously watched as he backed his boat in the driveway a hundred times.  Being that Dad and his meeting went so well and both are avid fisherman, Dave decided to store the boat at Dad’s house for Family fishing trips. I didn’t notice that he was having such a hard time backing the boat in due to his nervousness to meet me as I waited for him to get out of the truck. “Would he like me?  Would he be mad that I lost contact with him?  What is he like?’ All these things just kept rolling through my head as he finished parking the boat.  He later told me that his hands were sweating like mad and he couldn’t think straight while he was trying to park the boat in front of the crowd of all of us standing there watching him.

He finally gets out of the truck and walks over to me as I stand there totally taken the first look of him.  We look a lot like each other.  I grab and hug him tightly as we both just hold onto to each other.  I am amazed at how beautiful he is to me.  His wife and baby are looking on and I quickly make my way over to them to meet them for the first time.  Sylvia, his wife, is a beautiful woman who put me at ease right away with her welcoming attitude and the baby is smiling and looking at all the new faces.  Dave and Dad head back to the boat and finished setting it up while the rest of us head in the house.  In the first five minutes of being in the house together, you could feel this nervous excitement.  All of us were scrambling around trying to help put their luggage away and set up the baby pen because it was easier than just sitting down and talking right away.  Five of us almost broke the baby’s playpen trying to set it up since we were all nervous and yanking it to stay up.  Finally, we settle down long enough to look at each other and start talking.

Meeting Dave was like finding a soulmate of a different kind.  It’s hard to put into words the feeling of the love and connection that we had for one another right away.  I felt connected to him immediately and couldn’t stop staring at him.  He is super easy to be with and makes himself totally available for anyone.  We had a lot in common and found that we like a lot of the same things.

Greg, Dave, Sylvia, and Jenn with our first picture of all of us together.

Our Dad.  Mr. Gigalow.

Dave brought his boat down and took the Family out on rides around the Gulf of Mexico. He and Dad are alike in the way they love the water and fishing.  Cruising around with my brother in the early morning hours staring out over the Gulf of Mexico was something special that I have waited a long time for.

Once we got out a little far out on the water, we set up a fishing pole and started fishing.  Jake was the only one that caught anything that day.  Not surprising, he’s been raised down here and has an advantage on the rest of us.

Jake’s fish!

Dad and Dave driving the boat around.  This is Dave’s first boat and Dad spent the entire morning teaching him all sorts of boating stuff and sharing with him all that he knows.  Seeing the two of them talking and learning together was like second nature, but also really important because it was something that Dave has wanted for a long time.  I didn’t realize it at the time,but Dave told me later how special it was to him to have Dad some him the ropes, just like a Dad.

Dad, Jenn, and Dave.

Gulf of Mexico.

Back at the house, our younger sister, Sissy, made Jr laugh like crazy ensuring that he was broken into the Family with straight up Mexican standards like yelling and screaming.

The next morning Dad, Dave, Sylvia, Austin, and James got up early and went out deep sea fishing.  Spending all morning out there and Sylvia was the only one that caught a fish!

This is much better than the time that I spent the entire morning cleaning and mopping the kitchen while Dad was out fishing, came home, and proceeded to gut the fish all over the shining kitchen floor.  I still give him crap about that.  Nothing like watching fish blood and guts run all over your hard work.

My mom cooked us a huge seafood boil for all the Family including the ones that called and said they were coming last minute.  She spread all the food out on the table and James and Austin sat here for hours finishing it off after everyone else had already finished.

Kesley and Uncle Dave.  I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes pictures like this.  It seems that I’m the only one that is captured like this in photos all the time.

After a weekend of boating, food, games, and Family we all had to head back home.  It was such an intense, yet fun weekend.  We all felt connected and knew that we were now the Family we have all missed all these years.  The kids all fit in with Dave and Sylvia and were already talking about seeing them again soon.  The baby spent the weekend being passed around by everyone and was in heaven with all the love coming his way.  Dave and I were connected from the beginning and I already felt like I missed him as we said our goodbyes.  Dad and Mom were happy to see their house filled with kids and grandkids.

Greg, Dave, and Dad.

Jake, Dad, Dave, Jr., Austin, and James.  Notice how Jr. is hanging with the guys.

Dad, Dave, and Mom.  Happy to be Family.

We have since been seeing each other over the last few weekends.  Dave has come to Austin, we’ve all been gone down to Rockport, and we all spent a four day weekend at Dave’s house in San Antonio.  We recently met the other twin, Micheal, who needed a little more time to make peace with the idea of this new Family.  This last weekend we went down and stayed at Dave’s house with Dad, Jake, Sissy, our family, and James and finally got to meet Mike in person.  He has sat and talked privately with Dad about their past and accepted Dad and the rest of us into his life. He’s a sweet guy with a beautiful Family that we are happy to have.

We had a ball hanging out together at Dave’s house and agreed after a long day at the San Antonio Zoo in a 102 degree heat, we are officially Family.  Getting back from the zoo and piling into the house trying to cool off, the kids were coming and going from the pool leaving the door wide open and the yonger sibilings were annoying us to no end.  Dave and I, exhausted from the heat, started barking out commands ‘In or out!  Shut the door!  Sit down!‘ We looked at each other and started laughing and agreeing that after all the weekends we have already spent together getting to know each other and putting on our best attitudes, the nice’ities are over!  Time to be Family.  So, shut the door if you’re going outside.

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