A Fish’s Ability To Climb

Heh, Today we were moving my mom from her room to my brother’s house so that she can get the carpet removed from her room. Her health being so fragile, she can’t even be in the house with any changes on the house, hence her temporary stay at my brother’s.

Well, it’s JP, Greg, and myself. We’re hoping that with the 3 of us, the heavy lifting would be easier, since they’re both larger than I am, containing more muscle mass than I do, making the heavy furniture easier to lift. The Result? It was Greg and myself sweating to bring the stuff down, with JP watching. The man’s twice my size and he‘s watching me take down the heavy things. He starts moving things, without telling anyone, unplugs Mom’s oxygen machine without turning it off, the machine makes loud beeping sounds, and when we tell him to plug it back in, he will literally stop in the process of plugging it back in, depriving my mom of her much needed oxygen, to look at whoever is telling him to put it back in and take the time to say “Relax I know what I’m doing.” Sigh… It was SO aggravating!!

I’ve been living with this man for years and while lots of people will, and have told me that “he doesn’t know better”, or that “he’s just expressing himself”, it only adds to my frustration! Not due to the repetition of this, but for the fact that… They’re right. Today simply reminded me of how less-than-useful, he is, and yet, I wasn’t surprized, but I was a bit frustrated, we were starting to pack things in the car, and rather than offer his assistance he simply sits down and buckles himself up, while Greg and I make several trips back and forth. I make a quick stop to the store to pick up groceries for them to cook and eat for the whole week, and he was wondering around looking at random things that interested only him, free samples and so on.

Needless to say, all these events and many similar to this, are what my memories of my dear brother, JP, are full of, memories of selfishness, apathy, and frustration and this was all relived in one day.

Tienes que tener paciencia con su hermano” (“You need to have patience with your brother”)my mom tells me, when she hears my sighs of aggravation, she’s fully aware of it too, being the mother of my brother, and then, I felt something…

Somehow the thought of the measurement of intelligence metaphor came to mind.

“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it’s stupid.” -Albert Einstein

I may have a lot of bad memories of my brother, but he does have his qualities. For one thing, he’d put a mule to shame in the Stubborn contest, despite his pride and mental capacity, he’s rather close to getting an Associate’s, jumped for joy when he got his High School Diploma, and so far, he’s going to schools in different areas trying to improve his education, this tells me that the man is determined above all things.

Despite his lack of respect for the other forms of authority, both familial and ethical, he does have a strong sense of Charity, and really involves himself in the Knights of Columbus, whenever he can.

He doesn’t have much going for him, but he’s got Heart. Heh, it had to be Heart, my dreams of being a Cardiologist, and I have a brother who’s nothing but the wrong extreme of Heart. I’ve known the definitions and examples of Heartlessness, but I was never aware of the other extreme: Raw, unguided, prideful passion. The Man in constant need of self-fulfillment, in a sense, self-recognition, the physical manifestation of the old adage, “One’s reach is always beyond one’s grasp” He’s constantly striving, yet he refuses to accept help from those who can help him, that is to say, from us, his immediate family, who can help him, he’ll happily accept help from a stranger, he’s got no problems with accepting help from a random person, but when it comes to someone he knows with experience, he’ll refuse.

So what do I do with a fish who not only tries to climb, but will refuse to believe anyone who tells him that he cannot climb? So far, all I’ve gotten is something I’ve read in the Bible,

“And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” – Matthew 10:14

My resources are at my brother’s disposal, if he so wishes… and asks politely. Yet based on the manner that we have been treated, when he leaves, I will think twice about helping him. I won’t simply refuse him outright, but he better have good reasons for asking me for help, because frankly, history tells me otherwise.

Sigh… But the man is my brother, blood brother, to be exact. Despite my views on the description of the word, and its lack of fulfillment, I cannot really just cast him out in the cold/dark/past/abandon him. It’s literally against my blood, heritage-wise, Mexicans don’t have old people homes, we stick to our families through thick and thin, regardless of how they are or what they do.

I am tied to the fish, and even though it’s only a matter of time before the fish casts me to the wayside, my mind and my consciousness will not allow me to do the same. I will not be the man who will be the one who discards my bonds to others.


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