My youngest brother reminded me of something the other day. When we were younger, I teased him, and bothered him, almost without end. From poking and tickling him in his incredibly sensitive sides, to constantly bothering him with a question I copied from the movie Better Off Dead (What are you doing?), life couldn’t have been easy for him. The trouble is, he was my favorite brother, and still is.

Oh, I know, we’re not supposed to have favorites! I won’t apologize. I don’t love my other brothers less, I just favor my youngest brother. Here’s his phone number………………….

Just kidding!!

The reason I was thinking of all this is because he wrote me a long email the other day. And, I have found it to be true, that even though we change, many of the people who love us still remember us when we were young. Furthermore, he helped me remember that I haven’t really changed all that much, at least not in what’s important.

He’s still my favorite brother. I still find myself thinking of him often. I still cheer him on silently, hoping for his best, and being thankful when he succeeds. None of that will ever change. Some things are meant to stay the same, from the moment we are able to remember. And sometimes, we scare those we love, when we don’t talk with them, when they see things in us they have never seen before. Sometimes, we scare them because they remember the way we used to be, and we cause them to fear that the person they knew and loved is gone forever.

My little brother and I had not spoken for almost a year, whether by phone, or email. We live over a thousand miles away from each other, and I missed him dearly. But I never once told him that. We were not angry with each other over anything, yet still, we hadn’t spoken. And during that time, something was almost lost. That something means the world to me, the friendship of my little brother. Not that we would have wanted it that way, and I don’t think we would have spent years and years not speaking with each other. But you know, things left unsaid are almost worse than things said that cause people to be angry with each other.

My little brother and I are talking again, and it’s because he had the guts to say a few things to me. It wasn’t easy for him, I am sure, but still, he had the guts. And that is how I remember him, a child who wasn’t afraid to try, and thus, to succeed. He is a man now, with a family of his own, a wonderful family. Still, he has the courage to say what is on his mind, but also the courage to accept what is on mine. And because of his courage, a relationship that had faltered this last year, a relationship that meant more to me than I can say, is getting another start.

Yes, I bugged him when he was young. But he doesn’t choose to look at it as a bad memory, he looked at it as something he missed. I was a pain in the ass, but I hope he always knew that I loved him. He could be a pain in the ass sometimes, too, but being who I am, I never let him know he was good at it. After all, part of being a good pain in the ass is being the best pain in the ass in the room. And as I write this, I arrogantly think, “there is no one better at bugging and teasing people than me.” Forgive me for my arrogance, but is it arrogance, if it is true?

My little brother is tough, too. He has suffered several hard tragedies in his young life, but he remains a good husband, a good father, and a good brother. Life has not been easy for him recently, as he and his family had to move to a different state because of work. Yet he still remains upbeat, and faithful. This world needs more people like my little brother.

I told him the other day that my daughter Ally now gets much of the bugging he used to get. Recently, I have taken to calling her affectionately Allyalorally (pronounced smoothly Allee-a-lorel-lie, and if you notice, the only addition to her actual name is”alor”, and “Ally” is used twice) She says she doesn’t like it, but my daughter smiles most of the time when she hears it. Still, with Ally, I tend to stop bugging her when she asks. My poor little brother, I wasn’t quite so respectful when he was younger.

Teasingly now, I say to him, “I must have done something right, look how wonderful you turned out!!”

I love you, little brother.

God bless you all greatly, and keep my little brother, and his family safe and sound. And please teach his older brother some humility. :D

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