Years ago my brother said something very profound to me.
“Ducks don’t have to follow ducks.”
I was familiar with the work of Lorenz. That one phrase hit me like a ton of bricks and it is still something I remind myself of and have often shared with others when they needed it.
When my mother married her second husband I gained two step-brothers and later a half-sister came along. Somewhere along the journey of their marriage I lost those step-brothers. They vanished without a trace as if they never existed.
I received a text from my mother yesterday that one of those step-brothers was at my grandmother’s house.
Lots of jokes, small talk, and games. It is how the family relates.
I met his wife and his child. I asked him what he did and where he lived. I kept my questions to a minimum as we played cards. This was challenging for me because I had a thousand questions I wanted to ask him. I wanted to ask him the memories he had. I wanted to ask him about his life growing up and what it was like, how his journey was from his eyes. I wanted to know where he disappeared to and if it ever bothered him. I wanted to ask about the good times he remembered, where his life had taken him, and what his road looked like. I had so many questions I wanted to ask, but instead I kept my questions to a minimum and observed.
As I got in my car and left I found myself smiling and thought about my brother’s words many years ago, “Ducks don’t have to follow ducks”. Here’s the thing, sometimes ducks should NOT follow ducks and when baby ducks learn this (often the hard way) and succeed on this I am always amazed and proud.
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