Today, I baked for the first time I can remember since last Christmas in Australia. For some, that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you know me, you will know that I love to cook and bake, and having spent nearly a year hiatus away from baking seems very unlike me. I made chocolate chip cookies with a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, and the cookies came out beautifully.
While washing the dishes after, I remembered the times when I’d come home for winter or summer breaks during college, and I’d bake different things or offer to make dinner for my family. Since I’d cook, it was expected that Ed would wash dishes. One time, the dishes had been piled up in the sink for a while (that is all relative; in my parents’ house, if the dishes are in the sink for more than 15 minutes after dinner, someone’s going to get yelled at. That someone was Ed or me, or both). I called out for Ed and told him it was time to wash the dishes. Sometimes, he’d give me some attitude and say, “Why do I have to wash the dishes?” I’d respond, “Well, I made dinner/made cookies.” He’d retort back, “No one asked you to make dinner/bake cookies.” Then we’d go back and forth bickering with each other, and in the end, he’d wash the dishes. And I would help him because I knew he hated it.
It’s bittersweet to remember these little tiffs that we’d have because now I know that I will never have a small or big fight with my brother ever again. We’ll never agree or disagree on anything, or debate over something that is completely meaningless. There’s no future left with Ed and Yvonne as brother and sister. All that is left are our photos, the gifts he has given me over the last 27 years, and my fragile memories of my big brother.
Maybe up in heaven, he has found someone else to temporarily act as his little sister, who will make him wash dishes after she has baked brownies or cookies. But I’m pretty sure she won’t love him the way I do. She also probably won’t bake as well as I do, either.
Actually, heaven shouldn’t have any dirty dishes, so maybe they are just gorging on cookies together and awaiting me to join them.