Sunday, December 1, 2013

Am I my Brother's Keeper?

My holiday weekend began last Wednesday. I did something I hadn't done in a very long time which was watch a Lifetime movie. Like most women, I am a Lifetime Movie Network lover. If you know anything about the movies on Lifetime then you know for the most part the movies are based on real life events. I came across the movie " Conviction" starring Hilary Swank. Conviction is the real life story of Betty Anne Waters and her brother Kenny Waters. Kenny was wrongfully convicted ( conviction overturned in 2001) in 1983 for the brutal murder of Katharina Brow in 1980. The real story is the selflessness, dedication, loyalty, faith and courage of Betty Anne. Betty Anne was 29 years old when her brother was arrested and convicted. She was married with two, young boys with only a high school equivalent education when she decided to go to college and eventually law school to become her brother's lawyer and exonerate him for a murder she was sure he didn't commit. Betty Anne's husband didn't support her decision so they split up and her sons grew weary of her not being around as she attended school and worked on her brother's case and they eventually went to live with their father. 

I'm watching this movie and I'm thinking the whole time, this woman has given up everything, her entire life to fight for her brother who may or may not be innocent. It didn't matter what anyone else believed, or said about him or how many times he had been in trouble in the past. What mattered was that she believed in him. I had to wonder if I would have done the same for any of my three brothers, or would anyone I know have done the same for theirs? This woman fought for 18 years to clear her brother and finally in June 2001 Kenny Waters walked out of prison a free man. 

I often think about the relationship my girls will have with one another when they are grown women, with careers and families. Will they talk consistently? Will they always be there for one another? Despite the issues I may have with them being their mother and trying to keep them on the straight and narrow, one thing I can say is they do love each other and they do support each other. They are always defending each other and helping each other with school projects and homework. I always see them talking , ( probably about me) laughing, playing games and watching TV together. It gives me hope that I'm doing something right. However, it isn't like that for a lot of families. I'm not suggesting anyone who has a sibling accused of murder give up their lives, switch careers to become a lawyer and fight to prove their innocence. However, a sibling should be, if not, as close as a best friend to you. Who else can understand when you're pissed off at your parents for not letting you go out after you've brought home a D on a test? It breaks my heart when a parent passes away and siblings start fighting over money and Kmart China before their parent's remains are in the ground. 

I know most of you probably only know the phrase "Am I my brother's keeper" from the movie New Jack City. Being your brother's keeper means they can call you to talk, if they are in need and you can help then you will, it means spending time together and looking out for one another's kids and so much more. My guy and his brother have one of the best sibling relationships I've ever seen. His brother is six years older and lives out of town. However, whenever his brother comes home they are like glue. And when they join forces with their father it's laughs, stories and more importantly lots of love in the room. They also talk consistently checking on one another throughout the week. Your relationships with your siblings are among the very first relationships you will have and develop. It's a foundation for having healthy relationships in romance, with co-workers, friends and in-laws. Are you your brother's keeper?

1 comment:

  1. This is yet another great blog post. How one treats their family is a learning tool to how they treat their relationships. Family is always something people should be able to rely on, but that's not always the case. We all have family members who let us down and makes it difficult for everyone. It takes tough love to cut that person off, however, it has to be done at times. The lady in this movie obviously believed in her brother and chose not to let go. That's a testament to her dedication to family. I don't know how many people could have done that. But, a family that sticks together can get through anything.