Having an older brother is a wonderful thing. Such a wonderful thing, in fact, that there is a national organization that attempts to generate this relationship for those less fortunate in the sibling department. I feel grateful on just about any day because I had someone out there in front of me, breaking the waves and stomping down a path. Precious little of my development as a youth was not at some level pioneered by my big brother. I went to the same preschool, elementary, junior and high school he did. When it came time to troop off to college, I thought I might try Santa Fe, or maybe Colorado Springs, but I ended up at the University of Colorado. I graduated. Just like my brother before me.
It could be argued that I strayed from the path laid out for me when I didn't end up in law enforcement, but by picking a career in public education I figure I made a pretty strong course correction toward serving my community. My sense of duty and dependability may have come from my parents, but it has been reinforced on a regular basis throughout the years by the dedication I witnessed in my big brother's commitment to his friends, family and jurisdiction.
And I never would have known what was really cool without my older brother around. Like the Beatles. He gave me my first Beatles records. And Pink Floyd. He gave me "Wish You Were Here" when I was thirteen. I was encouraged to listen to it through headphones. He's the one who drove me to my first concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater. He's the guy who taught me to "chug nachos" and then ride in the front car of Mister Twister. He's the guy who gave me my first car, his beloved red Toyota pickup. He's also the guy who didn't disown me when I dropped that red Toyota pickup off the side of a winding mountain road. He's the guy who had me stand with him on his wedding day and hold his daughter just hours after she was born.
He's the guy.
Today is his day. A moment to reflect, as he likes to remind us, of "another trip around the sun." Thanks for showing me the way. Thanks for making the path a little more clear. Having an older brother is a wonderful thing.