Growing up with an older brother always made life interesting. He is about three years my senior so, of course, he was the one I looked to for approval and ideas on how to behave. I remember elevating him to an almost "mythical kind of status" at times when we were younger (I'm sure he thought more of me as a lost puppy who relentlessly followed him around). Of course, there were plenty of moments where I aggravated the @#%* out of him and vice versa (who doesn't try to put their younger sister in the sleeper hold or figure four leglock, after all), but there is one particular memory that stands out in my mind.
Towards the end of my parents marriage, we had a family incident that necessitated my father going into the hospital. It was a very long and emotionally draining day. We were out and about all morning and afternoon, making sure he got settled. When we arrived home, he and I went in his room to watch television. All of a sudden, I started to cry. I couldn't have been more than 9 or 10 years old at that point. He just leaned over and gave me a hug. I hugged him back, feeling safe and thinking how fortunate I was that I had him in my life.
Fast forward 30ish years and I still feel that way.
Today, I give thanks for my brother, James Michael. A great man and a great friend, too.
Happy birthday, Bro Man... xoxo
"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." -- Clara Ortega