Fly, Bean-Apple, Fly is a short reflection on the importance of maintaining familial relationships after being separated by distance, as well as an examination on how those relationships change over time.
“Fly, Fly. Bean-Apple, Fly. He flies just for you. He flies for me too.” It’s a song with no clear message; bean-apples (whatever they are) do not exist nor do I understand how they flies or what its motivation might be. This song is just one of many in the nonsensical repertoire that exists within my oldest brother’s brain, invented at first to entertain and then to annoy. It sits in my mind among other earworms, like the phrase “Carne Sauce” and the infamous ballad of the “Brick Baby of 19-1976.” are the mementos, among others, that my brother Nick left behind when he left to pursue a life out in Rhode Island at the end of last year. The era of the oldest Messink boy’s catchy, nonsense songs has come to a welcomed (albeit bittersweet) end.
I won’t lie– not a day goes by when I don’t think about my brother in some way. My shoulders slump slightly when I defeat a particularly hard opponent in Dragon Ball FighterZ (a videogame he and I play) and he is not there to witness it. I find it surprising at times when I need some brotherly advice on parents or dating and my brother no longer lives 5 minutes away. And of course, I can’t help but smile as the memory of one of his antics pops suddenly into my mind, or a song of his begins to play on a loop for no foreseeable reason. Our relationship has grown and changed over the years, from a blood-bound siblings to partners in crime to good friends. It wasn’t until he left to pursue his future out of state (which I fully support) that I realized our relationship was in a state of constant change.
So while those times may be behind us, I find myself suddenly looking forward to the future. The days of old, golden and cherished as they may be, are not really gone; they have transformed, adapting to the varying positions of life we find ourselves in. Much like my brother and I, our relationship has matured with us, changing the dynamic of the conversations we have: what I might have lost in an everyday buddy I have gained in a true friend and confidant. My brother has, and always will be, one of my strongest personal connections: there is nothing like family, whose bonds are formed through a similar upbringing, to understand the entirety of who you are and why. So brother, if you are reading this, “Fly, Bean-Apple, Fly” toward the bright future ahead of you. And know that wherever the wind might take you, I will always have your back.