A Tribute To An Awesome Brother and Artist
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.
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.
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.
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
- Why I Became a Fan of the Washington Redskins and NF...
I became a fan of the Washington Redskins for one reason - I wanted to share a common interest with my brother. It was that simple. Now, I'm a Redskins fanatic and a loyal fan of the NFL.
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.
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!