Happy Birthday Little Brother
Another year has passed and here it is your birthday once again. Even though you are not here to celebrate it with us, I just wanted to let you know we were all thinking about you on this special day. Mama is doing fine, her heart is on the mend after some troubles earlier this summer. Pop is well too. The prostate surgery last year appears to have licked his cancer. I am fine and so is my wife. I’m happy to say your two nieces and one nephew are also doing well. Not a bad year for us, all things considered. I just got back from Mama and Pop’s, where we had a nice dinner. We were all there except for Michael, who is away at college, but we spoke with him by phone while we were together. Afterwards we had some cake and shared a few memories of you like we do each and every year.
I don’t remember much on the day you were born, but I do remember the very first time I saw you the next day. I also remember when Mama brought you to our home later that day, cradled in her arms. My life changed pretty drastically that day. I went from being an only child, the center of attention, to an older brother, and one who now had to help Mama out around the house and share my bedroom with you. I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but in time, I came around to enjoy that nice, secure feeling of having someone else sleep in the same room with me.
I sit here wondering how your life would have turned out if you had never contracted Leukemia in the winter of 1971, suffering for a full year and a half before leaving us. Today you would have been 47 years old. I wonder, would you have married? Would you have children? Where would you be living? What would you be doing? Would we be close? Would our families get along? Sometimes it frustrates me because I am only able to imagine and not know for sure. I wonder about these things often, but all I have is a bunch of photographs and memories, all of which are frozen in time and space.
I don’t want you getting the idea that we are sad or depressed on this day. You know we were always a happy family when you were around, and we still are by and large. We may sit back and reflect quietly at times on this day, but it’s all good. So little brother, wherever you may be, I just wanted to let you know that we haven’t forgotten you. Happy Birthday.
Your big brother,