Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Power of Not Quite Fifteen

I was more than fourteen but not yet fifteen years old when my father died in his sleep.  I am the youngest of my father and mother's six children. 

My brother Bill, was more than fourteen but not yet fifteen years old when I was born.  He is the oldest of my father and mother's six children. 

Slightly less than three months ago, I turned fifty.  Today, the tip of the familial spear turns sixty-five.  In the fifty-plus years since I first invaded his space, he has taught me a great deal about life and about living.  He taught me to read before my second birthday and the importance of critical thinking not too very long thereafter.  They are two gifts I have carried with me since the moment he first bestowed them upon me and they are gifts I intend to carry with me for all the days of my life.  

My father's sudden death was the defining moment of my childhood for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it served as its finish line.  In large part, although I was more than fourteen but not yet fifteen, I was prepared for all that came after it - and helping Mom as much as I could - because of the lessons Bill began imparting to me when he was himself more than fourteen but not quite fifteen.  A wise man once sang, "teach your children well."  Bill took that lesson to heart.  Indeed, he did. 

Happy Birthday, Bill - much love and many thanks.  

-AK   

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