It was a welcome surprise. It had been years since any of us had seen our brother and even longer since mom or dad got the chance. You see, dad was a strict man that was very demanding at times. He tried his best to teach us what it meant to earn an honest days pay for an honest days work. My brother always wanted to find his own way in the world my dad never really understood why he didn’t follow in his footsteps like I did. My brother and I had a great relationship but he thought I just wanted to please dad. He never understood that I really liked what I was doing and that dad being around was a was a welcome side effect.
My brother was a salesman. He travelled from place to place trying to scratch out a living selling things door to door, over the phone, even face to face. I always knew he could sell ice to an Eskimo. My dad only told him that he should attend college and find a real job. He was never very supportive of his dreams. This may have been because many of his dreams were big. They included making money and living the high life. He was always good at the sales jobs he found. He never had to ask mom or dad for money from day one. He found his own way. I think that might have bothered dad more than anything else because he always figured that my brother would eventually come around.
Nobody knew exactly what was the reasoning behind this family reunion of sorts. It was a welcome homecoming event for all of us. We would come to throw a party for everyone in town. I personally sent out the invitations. You see, he was my older brother and I always looked up to him. It didn’t matter why he was coming home to me. I was happy to see him. I figured that he wanted to see up and would likely want to tell us about another sales job he had found. They were always better than the last and he was making a really good living at the one he had already so I could only imagine what exotic location he would have to travel to for the next one or how much potential commission there was to be made.
My dad on the other hand secretly hoped that he had finally decided to come home and settle down into the family business with us. My dad, proud as he was of his success, wanted my brother to be close. Probably so he could keep him safe and protected. When my brother told us that he had the AIDS Virus it was such shock. It was heartbreaking to all of us. My brother did come home. He did spend time with us in the end. He actually found peace and joy in the work we did on the farm.