Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Brother's Perspective

Guest blog by BHD's twin brother, J

Well, bro', our visit sure went quickly. It seems that no sooner than we arrived, we're back on a plane headed for home in France. But I did get to go riding with you several times, and enjoyed visiting with our family and our aunt who you look after so closely. Too bad the rain interfered with some of our riding, but that's life. It didn't interrupt the quality time that you and I spent together.

This year, I observed that you were more laid back, calm, and -- how do I say it? -- peaceful. When we were around our family, with the kids running around and everyone talking at once (as our family is wont to do) ... you may have been sitting quietly on the floor with our two-year-old great nephew building a tower with blocks. Or you may have been sitting with our sister having a quiet conversation. Or, I even caught you poking your nose under the hood of our brother-in-law's restored '76 Camaro. (Don't tell me you aren't a wrench. I know 'em when I see 'em.)

You extend you care so gently to our aunt, and draw her out of her shell and engage her in a way that she doesn't do with anyone else. You get her to smile, to laugh, to walk, and to eat. No one else can seem to do that as well or as often, even though she has excellent around-the-clock care.

And once again, your clan of seniors who adore you were omnipresent. Their gift of cake, ice cream, and their little song during their visit last Sunday afternoon was a delightful surprise for our birthday. It is obvious that they adore you, and you care for them very much. You always say, "what goes around comes around" or "it's a two-way street." Whatever... the energy you put into caring for them is obviously much appreciated, and you are deeply loved.

You seem to be at peace with everything and everyone. You certainly remain busy with the political campaigns you are working on, your community work, keeping your household running, and lots of other stuff. But you have made your limits clear; keeping your focus on (how you say it) "the priorities." You have established your priorities and everyone around you knows what they are. That's simply amazing. But then again, you always amaze me, man.

I laughed when you were preparing dinner on Tuesday and the doorbell rang. At your request, I answered. Your state senator was at the door, and it was obvious he needed something. But before he said anything, the first thing he did was greet me by name, then excuse himself. I've never seen a politician 1) remember the name of a visitor he's never met; and 2) figure out quickly that with my visit, it wasn't the time for a lengthy discussion. Man, you've educated him well. (Mom would be proud, as the Congressman she worked for wouldn't have done that!) You just handed him an envelope and said, "talk to you later" and that was that. Simple. I like that.

I won't forget the looks on our family's faces on Wednesday evening when we went to our nephew's event to recognize his recently-awarded M.D. You got me to wear my leather pants and you wore yours. I think we were the coolest dudes in the place. I have to admit, I was a little self-conscious, but The Wife encouraged me to wear those leather pants to this big function. They looked great with the jacket & tie I was wearing (though I couldn't get you into a tie for the life of me.)

You seem to have natural grace. Not necessarily in how you walk or move, but how you function. I'd say that you take each minute of every day and flow from one thing to the next. You don't get rattled. You accept change -- no, I would say that you "embrace" change -- quickly, and with an even temperament that sets a great example for the rest of us. We should learn your secret, though you swear it is no secret; you just naturally and gracefully move on from task to task, person to person, thing to thing, or whatever. Again, amazing.

I am also glad that The Wife and your partner spent quality time together. They seem to hit it off well. Your partner is so well-read, and so interesting to talk to. You have a tremendous man in your chosen mate and I am delighted to be part of your lives.

Brother, just being with you restores my soul. I cherish you, and am blessed to have you as my own. My twin. My soulmate from our early life, and my best friend. How fortunate I am.

In closing, I will borrow one of your lines: life is short... show those you love that you love them. Love you, bro'! Sempre!

1 comment:

Booted Harleydude said...

Brother, I learned grace from you.

I am grateful that you chose to spend a week's holiday with lil' ol' me. You could have gone anywhere in the world, and you picked your old hometown.

Words cannot express how I feel about what you wrote, nor how I feel about you. I love you very much. Sempre.