A few weeks ago, my little brother Matthew, his wife Jennie and I were sitting in our back porch. It was about 3 in the morning and we’d just spent the last hours catching up. Not catching up as in “How’s the basement reno?” or “How’d your garden turn out this year?” but really getting down deep in there, addressing questions of happiness and health, fulfillment and disappointment, the future and the past.
Matthew and I have always taken time to do this, no matter how little we get to see each other during the year. All we usually need is one good late night to get reconnected in that nitty gritty way.
So when I brought up the issue of Matthew’s smoking habit, we were already in the calm place where we can tell each other anything. He was actually having a Benson & Hedges he’d brought from Alberta at the time, and I was well on my way down my fourth Virginia Slim.