Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I have so many great memories of my brother, Clarke. He was the big brother I aspired to be. I used to try to squint like he did when surveying a room without his glasses. He taught me it was not cool to run while walking across a busy road. Whenever he gave me a ride to school he would make sure to drive his jeep up on the curb, like he was dropping off a rock star. Clarke was a great big brother and he still is. If I have mechanical problems or anything is broken, he is the first person I call.
Growing up, Clarke taught me things that were outside of my paradigm. Like anyone else, I inherited a lot behaviors from my family, some good and some bad. When I was a child I assumed my parents were always right. I also assumed the way our family functioned was how every family functioned. But my brother didn't always follow along.
One of my most memorable childhood memories took place one night when my family was walking up the street to a neighbor's party. That night my dog got hit by a car. We always had all kinds of animals growing up, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, chickens and horses to name a few but the death of an animal was so frequent that sometimes animals were never even named. There was no way my dog, whose name was Scooter, was going to the vet and Dad pronounce him dead. So we laid his body on our lawn and continued to the party.
I wanted to do something but what? I thought there must be something I could do but I couldn't think of anything. I continued with my family to the party but soon after arriving Clarke left and retrieved Scooter's body. He wrapped the dog up and nursed him back to life for the next several hours while we were away. When we returned home and I discovered he had saved my dog, this of course made endeared me to my brother. I don't know were he learned that kind of compassion but he was always saving and adopting abandoned pets, much to the chagrin of our parents. I was always more apt to follow along, while he was able to see another way... of course, there was a rebellious side to this attribute.
My brother was also the first person I ever heard say, "I am sorry". I don't know where he learned it because those words weren't part of our family lexicon. Even today, it is challenging for me to admit being wrong and to apologize.
I really feel blessed and I will always love Clarke. Happy Birthday and cheers to big brothers.