Monday, April 26, 2010

Greetings from the Caboose

Being the youngest of six had both its advantages and its disadvantages. Paramount to me among the advantages that I had as a little fella is that my oldest sibling - my brother Bill - took an immediate, hands-on interest in me. Extraordinary? Perhaps not to you but considering he was fifteen at the time I arrived and was already big brother to the three sisters and one brother that occupy the space between us, it has always struck me as being pretty damned impressive.

Once you teach your youngest brother to read by the time he is the ripe old age of two, you could espouse the position that your work here - for him - is done. Not even close. Having taught me to read a lifetime ago, just last year he taught me anew the importance of thinking and feeling. It is a happy dilemma for me every day to figure out which life lesson better serves me.

Today is Bill's birthday. And while it should go without saying that I hope that the person who has never stopped being available for me to lean on - during my first 43 years tripping over myself - has an exceptionally happy day. Birthdays are like airports/They make you think of where you’re going and where you’ve been/And who you’re traveling with/And has it all been worth the cost. Married to the girl of his dreams for three decades or so now and the father of two exceptionally fine young adults I know without having to ask Bill what his answer to that question is.

As it should be. As he deserves it to be. To my big brother - from one breathing time machine to another - Happy Birthday........and thank you. A lifetime of lessons to date and hopefully many more to come.

-AK

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