Home > Brother, Happy Birthday, Memories of a brother > Happy Birthday Little Brother

Happy Birthday Little Brother

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dear Anthony,

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,


  1. Tidewaterbound
    September 29, 2009 at 7:42 am

    The love of and from those lost to us never diminishes and they stay within our hearts forever. Such a loving tribute to your brother, I say he was very lucky to have you.

    Hugs to ya,

  2. Sher
    September 29, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for sharing, Phil. Beautifully written, my friend.

  3. Ryland in Houston
    September 29, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Wow, Phil… what a tender, beautiful sentiment.
    xoxo Ry

  4. jennygoth
    September 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    this is sad but lovely too that you like to keep him in your mind and heart loosing children is a life changing event we can always hope they are close by us keeping the big secret phil until we find out for ourselves have a lovely weekend glad my knickers made you smile lol xxjen

  5. October 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    A touching letter of remembrance and celebration. What a good big brother you are.

  6. October 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I can feel your love for your little brother. You are beautiful & such a brilliant brother…He will NEVER be forgotten…just as my sister will NEVER be forgotten. Such a lovely letter. I am quite moved… x

    • October 3, 2011 at 7:56 am

      Kim, thank you so much for the kinds words.

  7. October 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    A big thank you to everyone for all your kind words. I normally keep these kinds of journal thoughts private, thinking it’s kind of sappy. You have all been so kind and encouraging.

  8. Ursula
    October 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    It’s not soppy, Phil. My mother told me: “As long as we remember someone they are not dead”. True. Neither does it take away the pain for the living..


    • October 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      The pain is long gone, replaced with simple memories that bring a smile to our faces. Perhaps the longing to know how it would have played out might cause us to be a wee bit pensive, but otherwise it’s all good. Your mother is correct.

  9. October 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Very poignant memories, Phil. To write our memories like this is a wonderful way to heal and a touching tribute to those who’ve gone ahead of us.

    • October 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I appreciate the kind words Victoria, and I agree with your sentiment.

  10. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    September 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Wow. I’ve never known such a loss. I didn’t know this happened, Phil. I’m sure a year on you’re sort of okay, but I just want to say – sorry, & warm heart to you.

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