Not everyone knows my brother who knows me, but anyone who knows me, knows how much he means.
Recently I had reason to see once again what an accomplished, focused man he is. It was impressive. A lot of people underestimate him because he keeps a lot about himself closely guarded. Heck, there have been times when I’ve been unable to figure him out.
Sure, there’s the life long comic book collecting. The compulsion to possess every known home gaming console before 64-bit processing (mad props on that one). There’s the display of Batman action figures and WWF superstars that line his book shelves. Believe me, I’m not criticizing. My brother and I are very alike in a lot of respects – it’s just that I specialize in Star Wars geekdom while he’s more of a journeyman nerd with a healthy knowledge of everything that a child of the 1980s would know.
But my brother is virtually unbelievable in his focus and his execution. His intensity is like an eclipse. If you don’t look directly at it, you fail to appreciate what it represents.
I spent many years trying to define myself specifically outside of him, because I wanted to be like him. It took the better part of a lifetime to realize that I didn’t need to be like him, that I could burn brightly in my own way. Ironically, he was the one who made that possible.
My brother is the one who, through clever scheming, got me to quit smoking while gaining a passion for something I didn’t know I had inside me. He’s often provided counsel and while I don’t always agree with him, he has a wisdom to him.
This is not to say that my brother is perfect. He will be the first to grudgingly admit that he isn’t. I suppose that the brighter the light shines, the starker the shadows. But whatever he lacks in certain areas he makes up all the more with the others.
In a lot of ways, in addition to having his own family he’s often been a parental figure (sometimes both) for me. I imagine the pain I caused him as I drifted through my “lost years” and he watched me make bumbling mistake after mistake was fairly intense. I know that I’ve made some decisions that he’s just given up understanding, and I hope that some day he can see where my own wisdom came into play.
But he’ll always go right no loving me, and supporting me as best he can, because that’s what he’s always done. He’s the rock on which this church is built. Without my brother, I would lose one of the key touchstones I’ve had for longer than I have a right to claim.
He is Obi-Wan to my Anakin, only this time he pulled me out of the fire of my own self-destruction. Quite literally.
I know how strangely sycophantic this all sounds, so I’ll wrap this up before the sentiment gets too thick. But it’s from a deep well of respect and love that I speak, and I just felt the need to put in words what his wisdom and guidance have meant to me and how blessed I know that I am to have him in my life.