Friday, June 3, 2011

HB to the SC!

I am lucky to have two older brothers. Both serve as inspiration to me. While growing up, their lives served as a map to manhood. Watching them, I learned which mistakes to avoid completely and which mistakes were worth the chance and sometimes how not to get caught making them.

As chronology would dictate, my oldest brother was the first of the three of us to experience risk taking. I watched my oldest brother with great interest, eager to see how a given situation would play out. While I acted as if I were a trailblazer in my own right, often I was simply following in my oldest brother’s footsteps. For example, he chose the high school that all three of us attended without quarrel. He paved the path for all of us to end up at the same (dare I say prestigious?) university where we received quality educations. Why am I a geek? Because of my oldest brother’s influence. What can I say? He left some damn fine footsteps to follow.

Although he was the frontiersman of us boys, life’s wedge buster if you will, he has always carried himself through these situations with grace and composure. I can probably count on one hand (definitely no more than two) the number of times I have seen him mad for any reason other than having hit his funny bone on a door jamb or having dropped a 2x4 on his foot. He is one of the most laid back people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and takes everything in stride. At least that’s how it has always seemed to me. He may very well have been freaking out on the inside and just didn’t show it all these years.

If I have left the impression that my oldest brother was a strong, silent, emotionally detached leader, let me assure you that this was not the case. Despite having different interests while growing up at times, he was always there to show support for us. Whether it was occasionally assisting in coaching my basketball team or showing up to watch one of my other brother’s games and then bragging to his friends, we knew he was proud of us.

He continues to be this way. Adult lives naturally take people in opposite directions, but my oldest brother makes a point of stopping by to see my sons anytime he feels like it has been too long. He’s a fantastic uncle with whom my boys love interacting. They know that he has the answer to a lot of questions that their daddy doesn’t and in that way serves as a role model to them regarding the importance of education.

I get a kick out of this because he was always the source of great knowledge for me. I owe him a debt of gratitude to him for being the first to expose me to Star Wars and explain to me back before Episodes I-III were even rumored to be released why Obi-Wan was sometimes referred to as General Kenobi and that there had even been such an event as the Clone Wars. He is still the only Dungeon Master I have ever known and it is for these reasons that he was the only person I trusted to help me make the final selections for our Geek Tournament back in March.

Over the years, my eldest brother has been many things to me and the others who have had the privilege to know him. Son, brother, husband, uncle, leader, teacher, friend and last but not least, my geek role model. So it is with love in my heart and an exceptional amount of awe that I extend to my oldest brother, previously referred to here as “the selection committee” a Happy 40th Birthday.

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