My parents had three kids. I am the oldest, and my brother is the youngest. My sister was 2 years younger than me, but she died at age fifteen, and I was 17 when that happened. So, during my adult life, my only sibling has been my younger brother.
When I moved to the Philippines, my brother didn’t seem to understand very much about the place. He asked me if I could actually live here with no running water or electricity. I explained to him that both running water and electricity were available here, and many other conveniences as well, even modern ones! From the way he talked, he seemed to think that I would be swinging on vines, something like you would see on a Tarzan movie! No matter how much I explained, it seemed that he just could not accept that things were more modern here than he thought.
Well, the first couple of years that I lived here in the Philippines, I could only communicate with my family by making long distance calls, or e-mail. At the time, my brother didn’t do e-mail, and calls were expensive, so we did not talk often. After about 2 years of living here, though, I was able to get a Vonage IP telephone, so phone calls that I make to the States don’t cost me anything more than the $25 per month that I pay to Vonage. My brother can even call me for free, because my US phone number is in the same town where he lives.
After getting set up with this phone system, I used to call my brother at least several times per week, sometimes even daily. After a while, whenever I would call, my brother would not talk to me. If I called and talked to his wife, she would say that he was not home, or he was busy. I could tell that he just did not want to talk. That was about 5 years ago, when this started happening, and since then, I have never spoken to my brother. I want to talk to him, but he won’t take my calls.
I searched my memory, gazed into my conscience to figure out what I did to upset him, but I could not figure out what happened.
Over the past 5 years, I talked to somebody that is a mutual acquaintance between my brother and I. I asked if he knew what happened, and why my brother would not speak to me. I was kind of surprised at what I found out.
I was told that whenever I would talk to my brother, and would tell him that my life here was going well, and that I was successful, he didn’t like it. When I told him that my businesses were doing well here, it upset him. I guess it all boils down to jealousy. When I was in the States, my brother was not so successful in his business life, and had problems in his personal life too. I think that he overcame many of his personal problems, but having not spoken for 5 years, I don’t know for certain. Our mutual acquaintance told me that my brother just could not accept that I was doing so well, and even said that I must be making this all up.
It is sad to me that my brother feels this way. It makes me wonder, what did he expect me to do, lie to him and tell him that my life was terrible? Would that make him feel better? It would make me feel bad if he told me that he was in such a situation.
How about you? If or when you move to the Philippines, will you be leaving your extended family behind? I don’t mean that you will be moving far away, of course you will, but with modern communications, even though my brother and I live on opposide sides of the World, we could still communicate as if we were next door neighbors. Do you think that you will have family members who will have this sort of attitude?
I doubt that my brother will ever see this, but if he does, I invite him to give me a call! I would be so happy to hear from him. I’d call him, but it has been made clear to me that he doesn’t want that. I hope to hear from him soon. Just because I live in a different part of the world doesn’t mean that I don’t love my brother and his family. I hope they are doing well, and nothing would make me happier than seeing my brother come here for a visit sometime, so that I can show him how life is here. You never know, he may like it.