My older brother is going away for the weekend. I won't tell you where he's going, because that might be cause to call him up and disturb him. He has earned this, and not just because it's the weekend that backs up on his birthday.
I could relate more stories about the way that my big brother helped shape the path on which I find myself currently. So much pop culture was ushered my way through his benign goodness. I have mentioned the path the Beatles took through the ceiling of his room to the floor in mine. I have talked about the trips to high speed turbulent roller coaster type rides and the lessons learned through his eyes. I have talked to anyone who will listen about the inside movie stories and bits that we tend to share with breathless, "yeah, but didja know..." intros.
Oh. And I wrecked the truck he gave me and lived to tell the tale.
And he doesn't always agree with me, but he will fiercely defend my right to say whatever it is that got into my head on any particular day.
That would be enough. But he also happens to be one of the most responsible human beings you or I will ever meet. When our father passed away, he's the one who wrestled that mess of loose threads masquerading as an estate to the ground and managed it for all of us. With the wisdom of Solomon, I should add. He is currently riding herd on my mother's accounts as her life path takes more and more interesting sharp turns. He mows her lawn. He takes her shopping. He keeps her safe and warm.
My younger brother and I sit out here on the edge of the continent doing nothing more than marvel at his dedication and energy. We help out in any way that we can, which is often limited to nodding in assent as big brother has already found a solution and moved on to the next challenge.
For all of this, the roller coasters, the Beatles, the truck, and managing the phases of our parents' autumn years, I wish that I could send him off on a cruise to Scotland or maybe somewhere warm. I wish that he could take some time for himself and savor those moments with his own little family that he has earned.
And I know that he does that too. All on his own. Because he's a good guy. Happy Birthday, big brother. Bon Voyage.