Today is my older brother’s birthday. He turns 54 today.
I have a lot of respect for my older brother. He’s done lots of things and he has done them well. He is full of love and compassion. He is very caring. He has worked very hard through the years to support his family and make his bosses happy.
Growing up he was the first one of us siblings to get married. He was the first one to have kids. He was the first one to do almost everything. He was the first in school, the first one out of school, the first one in college, the first to be a grandparent! He was the first one to get the milkshake and the first one on the slide. And he will be the first one to attain all the cool senior discounts (he can tell the rest of us where to eat!).
My brother has spent many years surprising people. He surprised my mother once by taking apart the vacuum cleaner with a screwdriver at a very tender age. She was more astonished than anything else, until she starting thinking about using it again! How? He surprised one company when he took the problem solving skills test and solved the “unsolvable” question. One of the more surprising things, I think, is his ability to learn languages. How many does he know by now? four, five, six? And he continues to surprise the rest of us with what he does with his spare time.
My brother works very hard, at work, in volunteering, and with his family. I’ve enjoyed reading about his exploits through my parent’s emails. I love seeing the pictures of his grandchildren and how they’ve grown through the years. This is one man who works hard to make a difference in his world. And those around him must know that he loves them; that he really cares about them, about how they are inside. And I enjoy asking him questions when I have problems with my work. In my work world I feel many times like a kitten, looking to fit in and find answers, solve problems, and when I ask my brother for help, it is like asking the lion for help, because his work world is so much bigger than mine, and his knowledge just swamps mine. I know the answers will come and will help!
My brother lives very far from me and I don’t get to actually see him in the flesh very often. But I think of him often. Sometimes I think of just random things from our childhood but sometimes things recently.
Like, for instance, occasionally I wake up in the middle of the night, usually prodded by one of the felines roaming around, and I remember him talking about when the rains flooded his house.
His son woke him up very early on his way to work to ask if my brother would try to dry out his son’s laptop. After his son left, my brother thought, my laptop is on! And there, in the inch or so of water on the floor by his bed, sat his laptop. And it was still running. So, he carefully got out of bed and carefully raised his laptop up off the floor a few inches and let it drain.
Okay, here are a few things I just have to say at this point. First, how do you not just panic or exclaim or how do you deal with water on the floor! Second, his laptop was on! Next to the bed!?! Third, how did he know what to do with the laptop? And fourth, there was water on the floor!?!
Now that I have my own laptop, I understand a little more about the laptop on the floor. I mean I can’t put it on the dresser, too much stuff piled there. And I understand the whole laptop on; cause that way you can just go back to work at the same place in the morning. Although, I never really have time to do anything in the morning, so how do you work at home in the morning?
But still, there was water on the floor! How often does it flood there?
I do miss my brother, but in this technological age, there are phone calls, more commonly emails, and very rarely, and usually on his part, actual snail mail. And we manage to keep in contact with each other to a point.
So, Happy Birthday, my big brother. Enjoy another year of doing it first. I love you.