I've written brief segments about him before. Younger than me by 4 1/2 years, he has always been a light in my life. He has a positive outlook on things and always seeks to do right by people. Being the eternal optomist, people are basically good in his eyes at all times. It is a refreshing and encouraging attitude to be around.
As kids, I of course lorded over him with authority like every older sibling is prone to do. Still, he was always right there beside me, sometimes to encourage and sometimes to torture as only a little brother can do. On the whole though, I'd say we grew up close to each other. Sure there was the occasional, "geez would you shut up already!" but never the wordy violent dialog that Hollywood tends to portray in siblings.
Even as my little brother, he was my valiant protector. As young as 10 years old, it was normal to find his short, pudgy, frekle faced self scanning over my new boyfriends and pulling them aside to let them know he would break their kneecaps if they hurt me.
When I turned 18 and got married, he was the "DJ with the Most-est". For me he took off his giant golden chain with self made initals (didn't every boy on the 80s want to be a rapper?). He combed back his hair and even donned a tie for the occasion.
After that, we didn't see much of each other. The military sent me away to the far corners of the globe as the dotting and supportive wife while he plowed through all those rough teen years....junior high and high school and even gaining a good 12 inches in height before I next saw him. Adulthood found him in the military globe-trotting around and then settling down in Florida for a bit to figure out who he wanted to be (ah the age old question of all people).
About 4 or 5 years ago (gosh I can't remember) he and his blushing new bride moved up to our area from Florida. How excited we were to have them close by. It was new territory for he and I. We had all kinds of childhood memories to fall back on and were totally devoted to each other, but relating as adults in an everyday world was new ground.
Because of life, schedules, and responsibilities, we haven't been able to spend the amount of time together that we would love to do, but we are able to see each other at least once a month. Our visits always include sitting around Mom's table and laughing over the pun of the hour, or our own versions of name that tune, or discussing the latest movie in revue form as if Siskel and Ebert sought out our opinion.
During these times, I can always depend on certain things happening. Now that he towers over me, he always sweeps me off my feet with the huge bear hug that only his strong and protective arms can do and makes the rest of the world stop in time. He always keeps his eye out on every one in the packed house to make sure they all feel aknowledged and special. And he always eats up being The Uncle for my girls, becoming their personal cheerleader in their life adventures.
Last night, he and his wonderful wife blessed Rosie with her birthday present....accessories for her drum set. They made sure it was all in proper working order for her. Cords and adapters can make my head spin, but it was all a breeze for him. One quick discussion between my brother and my husband and it was all working to the desired goal. (Now she can play music from her mp3 player, and hear the drums and music in her headset. She can also record and use her stereo as an amplifier.)
I teared up watching him "work" last night.
We've come a long way. I don't have anything eloquent to say...no poetry or verse to explain what I am feeling.
I am just so grateful to have my brother.