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Lions Roar : March 2013
A FTER I TALK to my youngest brother on the phone, I call my son by his uncle’s name. It’s natural: they are similar in coloring, in physical grace, in humor. And, like me, they both have a tinderbox temper. “David!” I snap, and quickly correct myself, “Timo! Come and have dinner.” “I’m not hungry. Why do we always have to eat dinner? Every single day!” Usually the boy ignores the mistake, but this time he turns to me with uncommon gravity and pronounces, “And I am Timo, not David.” The brother is thirty-seven and the child is five: worlds apart. Still, the slip of tongue and mind is not so easy to correct. My brother visited once and Timo adored him instantly, without question, followed him around like a puppy for four days, liter- ally getting under his feet and running off with his shoes, his clothes, and one time his toothbrush. My brother was in a state of withdrawal then, not allowed to use any drugs in our house. He was often impatient with his nephew. Magnanimous one moment and grumpy, even nasty, the next. Yet that didn’t mat- ter to the child; he recognized a kindred spirit when he met one, and his pure, insistent love won my brother over easily. It worries me, this irresistible melding of two separate beings, but I see their similarities and try not to fear them. What we love does have a tendency to fuse together, to become entangled in Mother to one, sister to the other—KAREN CONNELLY on three interwoven lives and the call she will always accept. Spirit and the Boy ILLUSTRATIONSBYSIMONESHIN SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2013 71