We just returned from Texas where we watched our 22-year-old grandson Jordan graduate from Air Force basic training. It was a long car trip. The weather was hot and we drove through frog-strangling downpours. But, the trip was worth every hard travel moment.
I got all emotional and teary-eyed watching Jordan. He is a tall, handsome young man. In his uniform, he was the epitome of class. He stood ramrod straight and acted like a mature, responsible adult. His squadron was chosen to carry the flags in the ceremony. They presented themselves with honor.
Speaking of honor, Jordan was an honor graduate. There were only 70 honor graduates chosen out of 750 graduates. That's very special.
The first time we saw Jordan at the ceremony, he was standing with his group at the conclusion of the awards ceremony. At that point, all of the families could go to the spot where their Airman was standing and take photos.
Our ten-year-old grandson Conor ran down the bleachers and tore out onto the field before the rest of us could even get out of our seats. He ran to Jordan and threw himself around his big brother's legs. Conor's face was wet from his tears. Jordan picked him up and gave him a big bear hug.
When the rest of us got to where they were standing, we could see Conor's tears. He said, "I love you, Jordan." All of us got emotional as we hugged our graduate. Conor didn't want to release Jordan from his hug, but knew that the rest of us wanted our turn.
I thought about all the times that Jordan and Conor had annoyed each other at home. Being apart for two months had given both of them a new sense of brotherhood. Conor seldom left Jordan's side for the rest of the weekend. He looked at him with adoring eyes.
I never had a brother while I was growing up, but I know about sibling love. I also know that absence can make the heart grow fonder. At least, in Conor and Jordan's case it did. They appreciate each other more now.
Having a brother or sister is one of life's greatest blessings. They share a unique bond that makes them the best at understanding each other. Through their shared memories, they've developed a pattern of acceptance and unconditional love.
Here are some quotations that address the brother/sister relationship:
"Your brother is a reflection of your own life, upbringing, and circumstances. When you look at him, you see your past, present, and future."
"A true brother helps us think our best thoughts, do our finest deeds, and be our unique selves."
"When I am falling apart, I know that my brother will always help put me back together."
"My brother is a map I follow when I don't know where to go. He always leads me home."
"Who can explain or understand the bond between two brothers? It is a gift beyond explanation. It is a knowledge, a trust, a love that captures all that is good in life. It is a relationship like no other."
We probably won't get to see Jordan very often during the next few years. He'll be traveling around the world, doing his job as an Air Force loadmaster.
Conor asked "Will you be home for Christmas, Jordan?" The answer was, "I don't know." Then Conor said, "It won't be the same if you're not home."
That's brotherly love.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM  OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.