Tomorrow my older brother Dave would have had a birthday. Being only two years apart we shared a lot including birthday week. While I chose to have a chocolate cake, he preferred pineapple upside down cake. While I always wanted chocolate ice cream he chose strawberry or cherry or something fruity.
He was my big hero brother.
Taller than I.
Smarter than I.
A risk taker while I clung to the shores of safety.
Caring and colorful.
From the time when we both were very young it was obvious that he was creative.
One memory that shines brightly is when he was about 9 and I was 7. We spent many hours upstairs together preparing skits to perform for our parents.
One of our favorites was Amos and Andy.
Yes, we put on our Dad’s jackets and hats, and memorized our lines from an old book that my Dad had in his library.
I can still see us standing in the living room looking out at our parents who were sitting on the sofa. I was nervous but Dave was the leader. We didn’t get very far into the play before Mom and Dad were laughing hilariously.
He played the clarinet and always on Christmas Eve I could talk him into playing a number or two for our Christmas program.
And then when I was very young he insisted we move a very large rock to another part of the yard.
“No,” I told him. “It’s much too heavy.” We were both very young.
But he insisted and so we both bent over to pick it up. He on his side and I on mine.
Sweat pouring. Trying to walk.
“I can’t hold it,” I told between breaths.
“Oh yes you can,” he urged and kept walking.
But I was right. I couldn’t.
It dropped from my small hands and landed on our feet. Two big toes crushed beneath the large rock. Ouch.
And the last thing I remember was each of us wearing a big yellow lemon on our big toe covered by a sock. He was certainly not happy with me that day.
Yes, he passed away much too soon. And I miss him every day.
But the memories shine brightly lighting up today with smiles and laughter.
Let’s keep making shining memories today that will brighten the lives of those follow us.
Slow down. Seize the moment.
Lick the ice cream cones. Fly the kites. Play the games.
Make those memories.