"A brother is a friend given by Nature." - Jean Baptiste Legouve
I watch my kids as they form bonds as siblings. It’s a beautiful thing to observe. As I listen as Allie pretends to read to her brother Jake or they play imaginary games together, I am reminded of a humble hero in my life. It is so easy to make the comparison since they look and act just like us back in the day. He’s my “baby brother”, John… Yes. He is over thirty now, but my younger brother… forever.
John Jacobs has dedicated his life to healing and helping people around the world as a traveling nurse. When he was in high school he started volunteering in Mexico in Wahaca teaching about basic health care. Now, he travels to places such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic to support their needs (he also has brief stints in fun city locales such as Boston). It is these far away jaunts he has been doing for year that have always impressed me as his big sister. It also amazes me that no matter what remote location he is he always seems to find a way to answer my own nursing questions or drop everything to help me from far away when he can.
This is rooted in our history together. When he was a toddler, I was the only one who could understand him and had to explain what he said. When I was a rebellious teenager, he used to cover up for me (much to my parent's dismay). As an elementary teacher in a special education room, a giant map of the world hung in my room and my students would plot his travels and read the many postcards he would write to the learning disabled kids. Many in this classroom had never been much farther than the trailer park they were living at an reading stories of floating down the Amazon River opened up the world to them. Now Skype allows him to be a super uncle from where ever he may be. He's always been there for me no matter how far away he is in location.
Fortunately, John always has his camera with him and gets some fabulous shots of people and children. As an education professor, I delight in showcasing his awesome collection of children from around the world in my office. Here he is taking a picture of children...
The pictures from around the world include those from almost all the continents. Here are three of my favorites from his recent trip to the Dominican Republic…
John Jacobs ©
I am proud to call John my brother and my friend. Now, I will go back to listening to my own children and continue to be amazed at the beauty of sibling relationships. I would love to hear about others who have witnessed close bonds with siblings.