The boy on the left with the huge smile was my big brother Randy. Today would’ve been his 64th birthday. Specific days on the calendar remind us of those that died before us. Birthdays, holidays, siblings day, the day of the year that they died on, and etc.
The past year for us has seen an abundance of death in our inner circles.
In the age of COVID19, ironically, none of the people close to us who passed were due to the pandemic. Perhaps we are just at that age when the people around us are more likely to be at the end of their life cycle.
We have mourned greatly the past year, I still have a hard time believing that my dad is gone. But, for Beth and I the deaths that hit us the hardest and have been the most difficult to put behind us are the decades old deaths of our brothers. For me it was my older brother when he was 22 and I was 18. For Beth it was her youngest brother Jimmy, who also died in his early 20s. Both lost their lives in tragic automobile accidents.
We learned the lesson early on that life is fragile and can be gone in the blink of an eye.
So…I sit here a little after midnight on Randy’s birthday wondering what he would’ve been like if he were still alive. He was never married. Wondering if he would have? He had no children. Wondering if I would have been an uncle? Wondering if he would still be working or would he be collecting a pension and Social Security checks?
He was a lot like our father. Hard working and loyal to his job. I wonder if he would’ve had a nice pension and retired in his mid 50s like dad did. If so, would he taunt me as he collected money for nothing, living a life of leisure, while I plan to work well into my 60s or even up to age 70.
He loved to buy the newest gadgets. He had a movie projector with sound…unheard of in the mid 70s. He was the first person I knew who owned a VHS video tape recorder. He bought a console stereo TV that also had a telephone built into it. Now we have telephones that double as TVs. He would’ve loved that.
Recently Beth wondered aloud if Randy would’ve liked her. That I do not wonder about, he would have.
Beth is one of six siblings. My mom is one of eight siblings. They all have each other’s backs. I am in awe and a little envious of the way they love each other and are always there for each other. Randy was my only sibling and I’ve essentially been an only child since 1979. I wonder if Randy and I would’ve had the same type of relationship.
Happy birthday big brother. I wonder if you are looking down on us, knowing how we are.