Monday, September 14, 2009

happy birthday, jonathan

My mom always called us her twins, even though we aren't.

But still, we are the closest in age out of the family, were always close to the same height growing up, and have the same brown eyes, though his are darker like our Italian mom's while mine are more like our pop's British side of things.

We were always going through the same stage of life. Running away from the surf together at the beach, terrified that a wave would jump out at us and swallow us whole. Taking turns on our pop's back as we fought those waves together, putting on a brave face even when the truth was evident in our vise-like grip around our pop's poor neck.

Same Sunday school class; and later, the same youth group.

Same engulfing fear of the night, leading us to sleep in each other's rooms, respectively, long after all our friends were sleeping soundly in their own beds.

Tentatively starting to date, but um, he dated girls and I dated boys and all the while we were wondering when that oh-so-elusive one would show up.

We were even both in The Nutcracker Suite one year, though I have a strong suspicion that he was in it for the girls whereas I actually was in it for the ballet.

We spent so much time together, see, that people sensed that there was something between us. The thing is, they didn't always get exactly what that something was.

Like when we both did a mission's trip with Youth With A Mission, as teenagers. He had gotten his leg all scraped up in a soccer accident, his wound was infected and his body was feverish. Because of that, he had to just stay in the men's ward for a few days. Not allowed to go out, not allowed to do much of anything, though he wasn't up to it anyway, I imagine.

So I would take my breaks and go visit him.

Talk to him.

Make sure he had what he needed.

Most of the time it would be just the two of us, since everyone else was busy serving the world.

Finally one of our leaders approached me and with kindness in his voice told me that he didn't think my behavior was appropriate.

What do you mean? I asked, secretly shocked since I had made a career out of avoiding inappropriate behavior thus far.

It's not right, he explained, the two of you spending so much time alone with nobody around to chaperone.

And then it dawned on me.
And then his insinuation made me throw up a little in my mouth.

But, I said, he's my brother.

And that was that. The leader was embarrassed for assuming we were up to no good and I was given cart blanche visits to the men's ward.

Because he is my brother.

And I am so glad he is.


Happy birthday, Jonathan.


Mandy and Jack said...

Did the leader guy not know the two of you were related, or did he actually think something was going on between you and your brother? Gross!

Anyway, that was a sweet post. It's so nice to have family so close, isn't it? :)

Jessica Latshaw said...

it is nice to have family close--both in proximity and in relationship!

And no--he didn't know we were brother and sister!

Mandy and Jack said...

Oh good!! I'm glad that he at least wasn't insinuating THAT!

jason said...

I'm pretty fond of that guy too. But you should have mentioned the time he threw a ping pong paddle at me out of anger because I beat him again, and got the handle stuck in the door. Because really, that was one of the defining moments of his life and mine.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Jase-at first I thought "that guy" was the leader from YWAM and I was all confused because I didn't know that you knew him.

But right, you're referring to Jonathan.

And I just figured you would write about that incident on your blog, considering you have a big part in the story and all!

kathiek said...

Lovely tribute, Jess.

Mom said...

This made me cry. Can you twins just go back in time for a day or two? Thanks for writing down the memories.....

Jessica Latshaw said...

aw mom, don't cry! Now you have arwin and strider...though I'd love to see Strider ride on pop's back through the waves!!!

Michele said...

Made me cry a little. What a gift you have - for writing, and in a brother!

Jessica Latshaw said...

thanks, Michele. And I am so blessed to have the family I do:)

Jonathan Latshaw said...

Jess, this really touched my heart! You are such a special person and I/m so thankful that God gave me such a cool person to be my "twin." You forgot to mention that in our childhood we only called each other by our nicknames too - "on" and "ess"

We were pretty cute :)

Jessica Latshaw said...


We still ARE pretty cute!!!