Pride is such a complicated emotion.
Today my baby brother walked across the graduation stage and was awarded his PhD degree. He has worked so hard over the past 5 years towards this work that he believes so deeply in. To see his smile as the dean slipped the sash over his head – I couldn’t help but feel my heart fill and expand with something I can’t describe. My eyes filled with tears of pride, joy and shared experience.
This is the incredible bond of siblings. To live the long journey of life together. To go through all of the ups and downs of our lives together. To be there at the high points and share in the joy and to be there at the low points and shoulder some of the burden.
This is the complexity of sibling bonds. Never perfect never smooth. But undeniably strong and unyielding.
I sat in the small room when he gave his dissertation and I had the privilege to see him in yet another light. Here was this incredibly thoughtful and accomplished person that spoke of epidemiology and health outcomes and cost effectiveness and challenges of treating HIV. And I was so grateful to have a chance to see my little brother as the world sees him. Not as my pesky little brother that has followed me into everything I have done, but the man that has pursued a longtime interest and passion to an incredibly difficult accomplishment.
I have known this person my entire life. But to know it’s still possible for a relationship this deep, this binding to grow and change – that’s a powerful thing.
These days it’s so rare to feel one simple emotion at a time – usually it’s a complicated mix of a swirl of feelings.
But this morning – watching this brother of mine be rewarded and recognized for his years of hard work?
Pure joy. Pure pride. Pure love.