Growing up 19 months apart, they were close. As toddlers many thought they were twins as their mom dressed them in similar outfits. They were inseparable. Whatever the oldest one did, the second one copied. When the older brother stepped on a stone, the younger one stepped on the same stone. When the older brother played baseball, the younger one found a mitt and played along. When the older one got a tractor, the younger one made his purchase. When the older one went to college, the younger one went to college.
While their personalities were polar opposites, they got along like two peas on a pod. After a long, busy day having gone their separate ways, they would convene in the kitchen late at night and talk in hushed voices about their day as if debriefing from a top secret mission.
The older brother was a wanderer wanting to see the world, the younger one was content staying within a 20 mile radius of home. The older brother traveled the country and even went overseas while the younger one was happy to stay home to work his job and help on the farm. One was a free spirit taking risks out in the big world and the other was as steady as a rock—reliable, dependable and predictable.
When the older one got into trouble, he called the younger one for help. Whether he was stuck in snow, had a flat tire or needed a lift from the airport, the younger brother bailed the older brother out.
Nearly a year ago, the younger one drove his older brother to the recruiter’s office and watched him leave to serve his country. With a pat on the back and a handshake they parted ways. A few letters back and forth and some texting kept them in contact while they were separated.
A month ago, the older brother called on the younger brother for a ride….again. Only this time it was to pick him up from the airport to take him home and surprise their parents. Keeping the secret until the day arrived, the younger brother walked in the house during breakfast and made idle chit chat with the family about needing to use the air compressor. A few seconds later, the older son dressed in his fatigues walked in the door and the room erupted with screaming, hugging and crying.
After surprising everyone in the family and enjoying lunch with his parents the older brother looked for his younger brother and he found him a mile from home, working his job: driving the grain cart for corn harvest. The older brother climbed up into the cab of the John Deere and together once again, one dressed in grease stained jeans and the other in fatigues, they spent the afternoon debriefing from their top secret mission called life.