My little brother, Keith, turns 44 years old today. I can hardly believe that the years have flown that quickly, that he could be that age already! It baffles me, more than my own increasing age!!!
When we were children, we fought, a lot. We didn’t just verbally fight either, we were physical about it. That lasted through most of our childhood years, until my senior year of high school, when he began at Keene High School as a freshman. That is when things changed.
He all of the sudden, started watching out for me. Seeming excited to be at the same school as his older sister. No more fighting. He joined the choir and his musical love took off, the year after I left the high school. He joined the Drama Club, and was so excited when I would come home on breaks from college to see him perform. One year, I came home when he was in the production, “Flower Drum Song”, and surprised him. He was so happy.
My brother and I spent less and less time together as we aged. He stayed behind in New England, I stayed in Pennsylvania after I graduated from college. He got engaged. I came out, and he was the first one in my family that I told; we were sitting in his car outside my grandparents house, in the driveway. He was absolutely loving and supportive beyond measure.
Then, he got married, and started raising his family. He moved from New Hampshire, to North Carolina, to Virginia, to Chicago, Bermuda and Vermont. He was never close by. I missed him so much………..
Then, several years ago he called me. Told me that he was being pursued by a company less than an hour from my home in Pennsylvania. I was so excited, but with restraint. What if it didn’t happen, that he didn’t come so close to me? It was almost too much to hope for……
But, they thought he was fabulous, and he did come. And settled down. And got a home. And had two beautiful baby boys. And found a church, a church that so opened up his spiritual core it is amazing……. and he started singing again.
He started playing in the folk music group at his church, called The Living Stones, and it was to overwhelming support. He started asking me to come down and sing with the group. I have done so a few times now. Thursday evening of this week, we will be singing at the local airport, Christmas songs to welcome holiday travellers home, or on their way home………
It is the closest I ever feel to my brother, when our voices are raised in song together. It is the purest form of worship, and life, and love, and connection, that I can ever think of in my heart. It is the two of us being connected to one another once again. It is family, and life, and joy.
I love him so much, and feel so grateful to have him in my life. He is my baby brother, with babies of his own. And I am so, so amazingly proud and happy to be his big sister.
I love you, my brother. Happy, Happy birthday. It really is a special day!!!!