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A Tribute To An Awesome Brother and Artist

Updated on October 13, 2014
Siblings, 1959
Siblings, 1959 | Source

I just need to say it. My brother is awesome. It’s just that simple. He knows I feel that way but he doesn’t let it go to his head. And that, is only a small part of what makes me love him so much. We are polar opposites with the exception of the foundation of values we stand on. Our parents made sure that we grew into adults who respected others, gave our best in whatever we did, and valued honesty, family, God, and country. After that, they encouraged us to be individuals and we are - two very different individuals.


I think about my brother a lot these days. Age has a way of putting a fresh face on relationships. It becomes more important that the people you love know you love them. It may be the very best part of aging. Letting your guard down to express yourself is liberating and rewarding.

"Brother and sister, together as friends, ready to face whatever life sends. Joy and laughter or tears and strife, holding hands tightly as we dance through life." - Suzie Huitt

A Little Background

In previous articles I’ve written about my New Year tradition of writing letters to people who have significantly touched my life. (click here to learn about my tradition)

This year, my brother was the recipient of a letter. Writing to my brother was a very emotional and amazing experience. I discovered that I could easily write a short novel on his many positive characteristics.

We spend far too little time thinking about those we love. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in survival, jobs, hectic schedules, and forget about what really matters. When I had finished the letter to my brother, I felt our relationship had grown in ways I could not have imagined. I realized how blessed I am and that I wanted others to know my brother as I do. And, I knew that I wanted to write an article about him. So, this is my tribute to my awesome little brother.

Sibling Rivalry

My brother is three years younger than me. As children, I was the deep thinker and he was the entertainer. He loved humor and had a natural gift for making others laugh. While I sat crying over a sad episode of Lassie, he was practicing his Red Skelton jokes on the neighbors. When I was outside dreaming or chasing butterflies, my brother was creating funny costumes out of last season’s clothing that Mom had stored in the basement. He was a natural comedian.

As teens, I was the problem child and my brother – the perfect one. I went wild somewhere around the age of 14 and my brother spent the next few years trying to prove my parents hadn’t made a mistake by having children. At the time, I resented him for being so perfect but looking back, it was just his nature. While I was rebelling against all authority, he was demonstrating that a little respect earns you the freedom I wanted so badly. The relationship we had with our parents could not have been more different.

My brother's wedding
My brother's wedding | Source

Different Strokes

I lived life on the fly for the most part. Married, divorced, then married and divorced again. My brother married once, to the love of his life and, his best friend. While I moved from one rental property to the next, my brother bought the perfect little house and started his family. We both took our jobs seriously and for a time, it was probably the only thing we really had in common. Both of us were fiercely loyal to our employers and loved our work. It was the common theme in our family, to work hard and give your best to the job.

Character Development

Communication and compassion were always important to me and I took great pride in being emotional and sensitive to the needs of others. I took in strays, both four-legged and humans. The human ones mostly took advantage of my kindness and it took me a very long time to learn to tell the difference in those that wanted a hand up and those that wanted a handout. My brother could smell a rat from great distances and kept them there. He was the smart one, obviously. Oh, he tried to teach me but through my eyes, all the world was good and people mostly disadvantaged. I was a slow to learn or, to admit I was wrong.

While I was wasting time picking up the pieces left behind by the strays, my brother was building long-term relationships with responsible human beings. It was easy for him since they were attracted to him for his calm, capable demeanor. I think he must have rejected the offer of the implanted dysfunctional magnet that I was seemingly endowed with.

I finally graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. Somewhere in the process, my brother became my friend and supporter in my effort to remain compassionate while exercising a bit of improved judgment. I am sure he was relieved that I had finally developed the character that our parents had wanted for both of us.

"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

Age, Awareness, Awesomeness

Well, we’re all grown up now; older, wiser, and closer than we’ve ever been. My little brother has taught me to love football and we share the joy of watching our favorite team play. He encourages my passion for writing and is the person I turn to for any big decisions I might make. Now though, we have new responsibilities and together we share in the care and responsibility for our parents. We’re in a good place for a brother and sister who are so different. We know the value of family, trust, and compromise. Time has been kind to us and the bond between us has grown. We remain quite different but we have found strength in our differences and in our ability to communicate with both emotion and, logic.

I am truly blessed. My brother is my anchor in making sound decisions. I look to him for advice when I am too emotional to be logical. He is good with his hands and can build or repair things. My brother is good in business and well respected in the community for being honest and fair. He is kind and does more to help others than he will ever admit to. He is not one who needs or seeks recognition but is instead content in knowing he has done what needed to be done. My brother is loyal to his family and attentive to their needs. He is a good provider and protector; an amazing husband and father, and, a friend you can count on too. And I can’t forget that he has become an incredible chef. Does he sound almost perfect yet? I’m not quite finished. My brother also sees the beauty in nature and can translate it into art and poetry. He has become the more creative and talented one. But best of all, my little brother has never forgotten how to laugh and make others laugh with him.

My awesome little brother.
My awesome little brother. | Source

To Eddie With Love

My little brother will laugh at what I’ve written. He will say that I have lost touch with reality and that I have exaggerated his abilities. Nothing is further from the truth. I love my brother and will be forever grateful for his presence in my life. I have written many articles on social justice, politics, nature, and family but now, I can rest easy. I have written about my little brother, a truly awesome human being who more than deserves this little bit of recognition.

Eddie, this one is for you...with love!

A Sampling of My Brother's Talent

Click thumbnail to view full-size
"The Painting Within" - Three dimensional, mixed media abstract"Peaceful Easy Feeling" "Consolation""Nightfall in Nags Head""Calico Cat""Blue View""Bison For Lesa""Inner Peace""New Beginnings"
"The Painting Within" - Three dimensional, mixed media abstract
"The Painting Within" - Three dimensional, mixed media abstract | Source
"Peaceful Easy Feeling"
"Peaceful Easy Feeling" | Source
"Consolation"
"Consolation" | Source
"Nightfall in Nags Head"
"Nightfall in Nags Head" | Source
"Calico Cat"
"Calico Cat" | Source
"Blue View"
"Blue View" | Source
"Bison For Lesa"
"Bison For Lesa" | Source
"Inner Peace"
"Inner Peace" | Source
"New Beginnings"
"New Beginnings" | Source

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  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    What a fantastic tribute to your brother! I am sure he is proud of you and will be surprised at the high praise you write. Sounds like he deserves it too.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jim. Thanks for the visit. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have this guy for a brother. He is going to strangle me though for writing this one. lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, this is awesome! I see so many parallels to my own life. My brother is 3 1/2 years younger than I. I was the rebel, the black sheep who rejected all that my parents offered. I created heartache and disappointment. My brother on the other hand, went to college, had a karate school when he was 16, became successful in my dad's business with Merrill Lynch, is well known and respected in his community, yada yada yada.

    I love my brother more than life. That's why he's included in my profile picture. We have the same idealistic souls and love of the arts. He will give the shirt off his back when he can't afford to put food on the table. His artwork is very expressive and deep. I too, turn to him when I need a creative push or a different perspective.

    Growing up we fought like cats and dogs (that's why he got into karate. 'Cuz I used to beat him up all the time!). He was sent as my chaperone when I'd go the the saturday matinee because my parents didn't trust me. He hated it and I hated him for always being in my shadow.

    Isn't it funny how things change as we grow up? Now, my brother is the apple of my eye and he has great faith in my creative abilities.

    I love this tribute to your brother and I can feel the emotion that led you to put it down on paper.

    Touche and much love to you, Linda!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, I can tell that you know exactly how it felt to write this one. I have wanted to do it for a while but today, I just didn't want to wait another day. My brother is everything I'm not and more and is so much like my Dad - a genuinely good man. Aren't we the lucky ones?

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    He's got a great smile and he also has a great sister. Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes, Kindred. I was cruising along writing my book, stopped to check out your hub, and now I have to dry my eyes. I know, what are friends for? LOL

    Great tribute to a great guy!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    We certainly are, Linda!

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Linda, I enjoyed reading your wonderful tribute to your brother. What a marvelous way to show someone special how much he is loved and appreciated! (I would guess he loves and appreciates you just as much, with good reason. After all, you "graduated" from that school of hard knocks having learned important lessons and put them into practice.)

    Thanks for sharing samples of his paintings. He is, indeed, a talented artist.

    A couple of the photos don't display, including the one titled "My brother's wedding." I'll check this hub later in hopes all the pictures are visible.

    Voted Up, Awesome and Beautiful...and shared.

    Jaye

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sorry Bill, couldn't help myself today. I had the time and the motivation to write this one while I still could. Suck it up my friend. If it wasn't me doing it to you, it would be you doing it to me. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jaye! Thank you so much for sharing my tribute to my brother with me. I'm glad you enjoyed his newly developed talent (art). I'm so proud of him. I have corrected the problem with the images so hope you will come back later. Thanks for the wonderful response to this one.

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Linda....this is simply the best hub.. I have a little brother that is so super.. a great brother and wonderful husband and a terrific dad.. he is one of the best role models I have ever met... Your hub has given me an inspiration to write about my little brother. thank you

    voted up and sharing

    Debbie

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Deborah. Go for it. I waited far too many years to tell my brother how much he means to me. Aging has put things in a better perspective and made it so much more important that he know how proud I am of him. Thank you for understanding and for such a sweet comment. Sounds like you're a lucky big sister too.

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Linda I am a lucky big sister..

    blessings

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Thanks for sharing and beautiful tribute. I had five brothers and one is passed on so I really know how important it is to let them know you love them! Of course I was the angel and my brothers the wild ones! If I could just rewrite history!

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

    What an awesome tribute. You are blessed, both of you. It is a nice balance it seems between the two of you. I have a sister that I feel this way about. We are alike in some ways but mostly we march to different drummers but we are so very close. We can finish each other's sentences even though we live a long distance from each other. We see each other four or five times a year. It is a wonderful experience to hae someone who loves you so much and comes from the same place you do..shares your values....Thanks for sharing this

    Sending Angels to you and yours.. ps

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you so much for this background. It reminds me if my son and daughter. Though they are different, they really love each other. It started when Robin was born. Perhaps it started because Peter accidentally named his sister.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jackie! FIVE brothers - wow. I bet your boyfriends hated that. lol I'm sure you wore the halo with dignity. Thanks for sharing this tribute to my brother. It was important to me to tell him now how I feel about him and now, he knows. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    pstraubie48 - I am so glad you dropped in and shared your sibling love with me. You have made me even more grateful for what I have. I am so glad that my brother and I live close to each other. We have so many memories from our youth that are tied to this area and yes, it is wonderful to have that person who knows you inside and out and shares so much of who you are. Thanks for the angels. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey MH! Thanks for the visit. I'm so glad my tribute to my brother reminded you of your children. That's why we write, isn't it?

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

    You are very blessed to have such an awesome brother to rely on.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Lipnancy! Obviously, I agree. lol

  • Laurinzo Scott profile image

    Live To Write 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

    You are blessed and he is blessed as well to have a sister who recognizes, and expresses her love with words so well. What a very good New Year's tradition honoring the people in your life... nice!!!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Laurinzo. Thank you so much for your kind words. Writing my letters on New Years has been a wonderful experience. And yes, I am truly blessed.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Oh Dear Linda,

    This is a treasure of a tribute to a special man, I can literally feel goosebumps as I read this...and to see his beautiful work...my favorite being "Peaceful, easy feeling"...

    Oh, I can only imagine how Eddie will read this over and over, treasuring every word. I absolutely love how you are taking the time to tell those you love what they mean to you.

    I am blessed to be the youngest having two big brothers and an older sister...Eddie reminds me greatly of Johnny, who is my rock.

    Just lovely...Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Maria, I just adore you. You have made me feel like dancing. "Peaceful Easy Feeling" was mine from the minute I saw it. After seeing how I reacted to it, Eddie gave it to me and it now hangs in my living room. I'm so glad you chose it as a favorite too. It's also the background on my computer monitor so I can look at it all the time. :-)

    I'm so glad you have a brother who is your rock. I honestly don't know what I would do without mine. He is all the things I'm not and probably wishes I had been born to another family. lol

    Seriously, I think you understand how much I love him. Thank you for sharing this one with me.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful tribute to your brother. He sounds like a fantastic guy. You're lucky to have such a great brother.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Gypsy! I appreciate your visit and yes, I am very lucky.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Wonderful Linda. Your little brother Eddie sounds like a magnificent human being. His sister seems quite awesome as well. I commend you for taking the time to write him a letter as I know from experience he will cherish it for the rest of his life.

    You warmed my heart.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Beck! You are so sweet. Thank you for always making me feel good about my efforts here. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this one because it meant a lot to me to write about my brother. And yes, he is magnificent.

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 4 years ago

    This was a gorgeous sweet 'cake' of a write with delicious icing to boot! Mmmmmmm....

    what an incredibly old soul your brother sounds like - born one it would seem! His loving, compassionate patience - his steadfastness - his support through good times and bad - BOY - you were a lucky sister, Linda!

    And while you obviously had a different, more difficult road to hoe - the fact is - YOU EVOLVED into an amazing, compassionate, intelligent - and loving human being and sister that Eddie always knew you would become!

    What a role model you had!

    You are both beautiful - literally and figuratively and i loved this tribute to Eddie!

    If you have an 'implanted dysfunctional magnet' - i believe more folks ought to have one as well!

    up and sharing, my friend...

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Linda....This is so special. The picture is priceless...2 adorable little "toe-heads." I'm especially touched by your sweet story about your love for your "little brother."

    Funny, both my sister and I had always wished we'd had a brother. "Be careful what you wish for,"....we both had sons!

    You and your brother are blessed to have each other. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness....UP+++

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Leslie, somehow I knew you would understand this one and from your comment, I know you did. Eddie is indeed an old soul and with every passing year, I learn to appreciate his depth. Thank you girlfriend. You made my day.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Paula. You are always so generous in your thoughts on my hubs. Tow-heads we were. lol We're a bit more weathered now though. Oh, don't we have to be careful what we wished for? I would bet though that your son is is a good man too. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, they say. Thank you for your good wishes Paula.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    AWWW...thanks, Linda.......FOUR sons, honey......and yes, they are ...4 GOOD men!....hands down.

  • midget38 profile image

    Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

    Eddy sounds like a wonderful person to know and you've done him a great, deserving tribute. We need more grounded sorts like him around us, who know well how to balance compassion and reality. And you're a wonderful sister for highlighting it. Thanks for sharing, this made my afternoon reading great!!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi midget48. And you have left me a comment that is the answer to why I write. If something I put together makes the day better for someone else, then I am accomplished. I am happy that you enjoyed my tribute to the brother I adore. I am very, very proud of him and you, have made my day.

  • picklesandrufus profile image

    picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

    Your brother may laugh at you, but I know he will also be delighted to hold such high esteem in your eyes. Nice tribute!!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey pickles! Thanks. My brother was a little embarrased at the high praise but I think he will get over it. lol

  • PaisleeGal profile image

    Pat Materna 3 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

    Nice tribute to what sounds like a great brother. I know what you mean about how he blesses your life for I have siblings like that in my life too! Please stop by my hubs and check out some of my stuff. I like writing about my family. Haven't done many hubs but do enjoy writing when I'm inspired.

    Voted up!!

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