Bett Norris


The Week That Was

“Fidelity to any human place, except the heart, seems dubious to me.” Desert of the Heart, Jane Rule.

This is a photo of my brother. We talked this week, and things are not going too well for him right now. Hard Times, the economy. He lost his job. My sister lost her job over a year ago. Hard times.

Barry has worked hard all his life. He drives heavy machines. He has raised a family, bought a house, lost it, been strong, and somehow, retained a sensitive heart. He feels things deeply. I am like him in that.

He can’t understand the loss of family, nor can I. We talked about that, about how we assumed that family would always be there for us, no matter what, to help out when they can, to listen, to support.

He cried a little, and I cried a little, and I did what I could.

My brother is a strong man with a simple understanding of love. I am like him in that.

He loves deeply, and gets hurt easily. I am like him in that way too.

He is quick to anger, but repents and forgives. I am like him in that.

We both miss our mother, and wish she were still here to demand that this family pull together.

My brother can’t understand why one son is willing to help his parents when they need help, and one son is not.

Barry tries to retreat into a shell, and say that he only depends on himself and his wife, and doesn’t want or expect anyone else to care. I say the same, but neither of us mean it.

Barry and I both believed that our family would grow closer after the loss of our mother, and we are both immeasurably damaged because they didn’t.

My little brother and I both believe in the fidelity of the human heart.




5 responses to “The Week That Was

  1. Lynne Pierce October 9, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Bett, I suspect also that he would also be embarrassed by the wonderful things you’ve written about him. Families are odd things. They’re seldom what we want, but always what we’re stuck with. At least you and your brother have each other. I feel his pain. My brother-in-law has been out of work for almost five years. I hope things look up for both of them soon.


  2. Sally Bellerose October 9, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I often wonder what will happen to relationships between we sibs when our mom dies. Big hug to you and yours and while they are within hugging distance I will give a big hug to my sibs next time we gather at Mom’s.


  3. Julie October 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I’m so sorry that you and your family are still having these issues. I truly thought that all of you, or at least most of you, would have come together by now. All of you are in my prayers.


  4. Merry Gangemi October 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Bett. Beautiful and heartbreaking.


  5. bettnorris October 11, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Thanks to all of you who posted here. My brother got hired yesterday! He got a job. He and I decided we would pray, like our mother used to do for us. The mama thing worked.


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