Suzy Says
Radio Nowhere
Where You Lead
January 16th, 2012 by suzy in Family,Memories

Heading to aquafit on a chilly, dark winter morning, I thought about how our brother inspired Megan and me to start swimming again last year. And I realized how strongly he has influenced our lives, without appearing to do so. In a way, we’ve been following his lead.

Our parents separated when Jonathan was 18. He decided to head out to California, where he stayed with a family friend while he got on his feet. He arrived in San Francisco with his cat and $100 in his pocket, and never looked back.

I visited him every year, or more often if I could, and it got harder and harder to leave. Eventually Dad retired back to his native England, leaving Megan and me on our own, so we decided to follow Jonathan and move to San Francisco.

Megan moved into a boat near his on Pier 39 and married Rob. I found an apartment on land near by, and fixed it up while John drove our stuff, and our beloved cat Buddy, to our new home, arriving in time for our wedding anniversary in December.

One day, Jonathan witnessed a man being stabbed to death at Pier 39. He decided that the time had come to leave the city. A good friend of his was from the Hooterville area, and Jonathan had spent a lot of time visiting, as Bay Area people tend to do. It seemed like a good place to start a new life.

So he did, and it was. After a few years, Megan and Rob decided to follow him there. It was hard at first, but of course having our brother there made it easier and better.

Having most of my family living in a place only accessible by car inspired me to finally learn how to drive so I could visit. In my 30s. I do not recommend this. Parents: don’t let this happen to your kids! They’ll think driving means freedom, when what it really means is driving to work, running errands, and traffic jams.

As usual, I’m an Awful Warning.

As you all know, after several years and several changes of venue, I, too ended up in Hooterville, living a few yards from my sister and about a quarter mile from my brother. In fact, the house he used to live in is on the same property, and it’s still kind of weird for me that he no longer lives there. I still think of it as his house, and so does everyone else. Mark calls it “Jonathan’s house”.

Jonathan started swimming over a year ago, working up to his present ability to swim for 45 minutes without stopping four times a week. He loved it so much that he kept trying to convince his sisters to go, and eventually, he persuaded us. As our mother used to say, he could sell refrigerators to Eskimos (are you allowed to say “Eskimos” now? I always thought the spelling “Esquimaux” was more elegant, anyway). And we love it, too.

The next time I see him, I’m going to thank him for being such a great leader. And the best brother a girl could ask for. Or follow around.

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One Response

In my spiritual world there is a saying that I learned from the Elders: in the midst of a land without silence, you have to make a place for yourself. Those who have worn out their shoes many times know where to step. It is not their shoes you can wear, only their footsteps you may follow.

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