Well if I could walk on water
And if I could find some way to prove
If I could walk on water would you believe in me
My love is so true
(Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, etc.)
Well I'm no angel, now, I'll admit
I made a few bad moves I should regret
I hurt you once or so you said
Just one more chance is all you get
Didn't mean to do you wrong again
Worse things have been done by better men
Baby, baby, don't, don't treat me this way
I know, yes, I've got to pay now, I'm still paying
Well if I could walk on water
And if I could find some way to prove
If I could walk on water would you believe in me, my love is true
Written by Jesse Harms
I can still remember it. It is more of an audio memory as opposed to a visual memory. I remember the sounds of that evening. Or rather, the music of that evening. And I think the clarity of the music has stayed with me all these years because I was in my bedroom at the time and the music, in the quiet of the evening (or night, I don't remember which) floated up to my room.
One of my third brother's friends had driven over to the house. His window was obviously rolled down as I could hear Eddie Money singing his hit song, "Well, if I could walk on water, if I could find some way to prove, if I could walk on water, would you believe in me, my love is so true...." followed by the head-bouncing, "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na..." The tune was catchy and its title, "Walk On Water," was embedded in my brain.
If I knew nothing else about that song, it was the chorus that helped to identify it in later years. The tune was upbeat and fun, and spoke to me of carmaraderie and loyalty. And in these present times, I associate it with my third brother (and his band of male friends), he who was once an enigma to me. (Even as I write this, I can't help but tear up a lttle as I reminiesce. A bit of homesickness mingled with deep affection and a harkening back to the earlier years can be a potent combination, as I've found out.)
Another incident which included him -- and our oldest brother -- was the time I had the stomach flu. Both brothers were already in their double-decker beds in the darkened room. An emergency trip to the bathroom weakened me, leaving me dizzy and desperate to get back to the comfort of my bed. I panicked, as the thought of fainting actually scared me. Even then, I didn't like the idea of not being in control. I stayed close to the wall, thinking it would lead me back to my room. Instead, I missed my door and ended up in my brothers' bedroom, which was the next door down, and promptly fell to the floor, right next to the double-decker bed. I didn't pass out completely as I could hear my brothers' voices. I struggled to get up and finally ended up in my own bed.
Later, I discovered that my brothers had heard me fall and my third brother (who slept on the upper bed) wondered to the oldest if I had decided to spend the night on their bedroom floor. The oldest told him that I had fainted and even wondered (to himself) if he should carry me back to my room. My brothers. How I loved them during such moments. And how uniquely innocent of my third brother to have made such a remark.
The tears come again.
I suppose that I do have my hang-ups. I don't deny that. Now that I am older, at an age where many women are the mothers of teenagers, I wonder what it was like for my father and his siblings. He obviously remained close to them and I now wonder what his relationships were like, what was exchanged between them. I really would like to know.
My third brother and I hardly spoke to each other during our teens. If we did, they were more or less one word answers or conversations that were not very memorable, although one or two still stick in the mind. Another incident happened on a school night. I was watching television and he appeared at the front door -- still wearing his school uniform -- and said something to me. Muttered would be more like it. I was sitting closest to the front door so went to unlock it for him. As I had a friend in school who was one of his friends' girlfriends and who often saw my brother as well, I asked her to ask him what he had said. The next day, in class, she told me that he had asked me to open the gate. I don't know why that incident sticks in my mind or why I had thought he had said something else. I don't know why all these other incidents which involve my brothers stick in my mind. Most of them are remembered fondly, especially now. I have not forgotten the unkind remarks, or what I then perceived to be unkind remarks, and some of them were unkind. Sometimes I think, boys will be boys and I do, at times, refer to them as "idiots" lovingly, or maybe not so lovingly, depending on the situation. Having grown up with four brothers, men in general are still a mystery to me. I suppose a man could say the same about women even if he had been raised with a few sisters.
My brothers and I are far away from each other now, and communication isn't as frequent as I hoped it would be. Private men that they are, especially my older brothers, each of them quiet in their own way, I sometimes wonder if they wished the same thing. Or is it just me? Life goes on, yes, each of us with our own families -- with or without children -- our jobs, day-to-day responsibilities and dealing with any problems that arise.
If this is indeed a hang-up, so be it. There is no need to pretend.
There was even a time late one night when my third brother came home and entered my room. It didn't matter that I might have already been asleep. I don't remember what it was for -- probably to announce that he was home -- but I obviously felt comfortable enough with him to tell him that I knew he had been drinking as the familiar, sickly scent of alcohol invaded my bedroom. (I believe he would also visit our mother's room to let her know that he was home. To tell the truth, I liked his visits as I then knew that he was home safe and sound. He was a filial son. That's what I seem to remember as well.) It would have been a different experience -- and a different reaction, I'm sure -- if it had been my father. Luckily for me, I felt safe with him. I always have -- with all my brothers as well as my uncle, my mother's younger brother (who lived with us whilst we were growing up). It was never a conscious thought for I obviously took it for granted. Years later, when my third brother and I visited our mother back home, he and I could converse at length and I actually treasured that. A few years ago, when a plane crash took the lives of people who were flying to see relatives they hadn't seen in years, the news upset me as I was thinking of my mother and brothers, and being so far away from them all. My third brother was the only one that I shared my concerns with as he, too, was living far from home. And he seemed to understand. It seems that nowadays, I can share some of my most private thoughts with him, thinking and wishing that he, of all people, would understand, even empathise. I can't see his face nor hear his voice but his words indicate that he does. And that's enough for me.
"If I could walk on water," so the song goes. I liked the title because in my mind, only Christ could walk on water. Having been raised Catholic, that was the first thought that came to mind.
Oftentimes, when I was younger, I wished that I could take away my brothers' pain. There was a time, during my early twenties, when I even cried for one of them. (And yes, it was my third oldest brother.) It was during the Stations of the Cross which I attended after work on a Friday. It was a little embarrassing but the tears wouldn't stop. I think I was also crying for me, uncertain of my path and my future. But I also remembered my brother's dilemma. Maybe I was crying for the both of us. If a mother could cry for her child, why couldn't a sister cry for her brother? Where was it written that only a parent was entitled to such emotions? Or maybe those thoughts and feelings came about because we lost our father too soon? And not only were my brothers my siblings, they were also -- apart from my father -- the men in my life. And men certainly did play an important role in my life.
If I could, I would walk on water for them. If I could.