No my dad didn't have an illegitimate child, but imagine my surprise when my parents called me at UT and said "Meghan, we have some news for you. You have a new brother". The first thought through my head was wow that must have been some party last night because I woke up in bizzaro world. Then I thought how in the world did this happen. First of all my parents could not possibly have had sex. That was just too much to imagine and I just now even had a hard time writing it. Second, we all knew my mom had ensured that she would have no more children after Graham was born. Not saying Graham was what made her make that decision but... ahem. Luckily before my mind could wander anymore they clarified. They were taking in an exchange student from Norway. His name was Christer Jenssen and he was the same age as Graham. I of course went into princess mode screaming he better not get my room!!!! They assured me that he would be sharing a room with Graham and we made plans for me to meet my new brother. When I first met him I was amazed how well he spoke English. I could read a little Spanish and French, but my verbal skills were very lacking in foreign language department. He seemed like a really nice guy and he fit in really well with the family. Because I was at college I didn't get to spend that much time with him, but the nice thing about having someone from far away come live with you for a while is that you get to show them all the things that you love to do and it makes you appreciate your own life. One of my favorite memories of Christer is the time when we went to Ohio for Christmas. We decided to take him to downtown Cleveland to Public Square and Tower City. Tower City had just opened and was much nicer than it is now. There was an ice skating rink in Public Square and I loved to skate. I thought I was a pretty good skater too. We paid our admission fee and skated up. I glided out onto the ice thinking I would impress Christer with my skating skills. He didn't notice because he zoomed past me and I think he did a double axel with a twist. He maneuvered around the rink like a pro. I think he had me figured out because he just laughed at me as he spun around. I screamed- "This is not fair, you probably ice skate to school in Norway".
The thing I admired most about Christer was how he would listen. I know this may come as a surprise to many of you but sometimes, not often, I open my mouth and speak before I think. Christer was quiet, but when he spoke it meant something.
Thank goodness for Facebook. I get to see pictures of him and his perfectly adorable children. I can't read most of what he writes because my Norwegian is even worse than my French, but I can still see his personality in the pictures and all the smiley faces in the comments on his posts. I am glad I got an extra brother for a year and I hope we get to meet in person again.