My daughter and her family were here this past week. About Wednesday I began to think that I'd forgotten something important. It turns out I had! On Saturday I remembered that my brother's birthday was on Tuesday. This post is late but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to wish him a Happy Birthday and a great year.
Of necessity I had to look up to Bob when I was a child: he was nearly 11 years older than me. But by choice I've looked up to him throughout my life.
As all big brothers probably do, there were times when he teased me, though I don't think there was ever any meanness about it. But the times and memories that stand out are times when I knew he loved me. He was the family member who always seemed to have time for me, who played with me, entertained me, and smoothed things over.
I once decided to run away when I was too young to be out and about alone. He came up to my bedroom where I was packing my little suitcase, possibly sent by my mom, to persuade me of the foolishness of my choice -- and succeeded by using the enticement of cookies. He gave me rides on the handlebars of his bike; introduced me to pistachios (only available in pink in those days); and sometimes helped me with homework. He refinished an oak stool he'd bought at an auction, made a doll cradle in his high school industrial arts class, and sanded and repainted an older bicycle to make it look new -- all for me. I'm sure I've forgotten more than I've remembered about his kindness to me.
He was and is always kind, fair, thoughtful, and generous and I'm so very grateful that he's my brother.
Happy Birthday, Bob! Love you.