Christmas Message 2010
It is Christmas week and the big day finally arrives on Saturday. All the presents will be opened, food eaten and memories will be made. I hope everyone has a great holiday season with warm feelings that continue long into the New Year. It is a nice thought but often that holiday glow fades very quickly once the normal routine resumes.
For this week’s blog, I thought I would encourage everyone to forget about the material things and focus on your relationships which really make life rewarding. I decided I would take my own advice and tell my brothers and sisters how I feel about them. My siblings all get along well and there are no feuds among us, but I don’t think I ever openly told them how I feel about them. That stops today. I am the second of 5 kids and have an older brother, younger brother (#3 of 5) and 2 younger sisters.
To my older brother:
He is gruff but lovable, a perfect older brother who was always taking care of me when I was a kid. I can remember him making cool things for me like homemade cars from cardboard boxes and wagon wheels, tree houses and other things. I remember accidentally knocking over a make shift club-house that was equipped with 4 walls, a roof and a working door and he didn’t even get mad at me. As we grew older, he was always there to lend a hand and fix my car, my water heater, light fixtures and anything else I couldn’t do myself which includes about everything you can imagine. He is very generous with his time and money with me and all my siblings. He has a good sense of humor which is a trait in all of us kids. I wonder if we got that from him or from our parents – probably a little of both. We all love to have a good laugh but it is especially prominent in my older brother. After I took up bicycling he also gave it a try and was a participant on a lot of “death rides” that me and my younger brother would do and he hung on valiantly and I don’t know how. He is one tough cookie I will say that much. I recently asked him for advice and I later learned from my Mother he didn’t know why I asked him and not someone else? That’s easy, because you’re my big brother and I still look up to you!
To my younger brother:
In many ways he could be my twin despite almost 6 years difference in age. Several people have made that comment. First of all, I want to apologize for not being a better big brother. I should have known better, I had a very good example to follow. My poor kid brother had to be an unwilling participant in many wiffle ball games when I had no one else to play with. I would fire fast balls at him and even though I was much bigger, he battled courageously holding his own admirably (and keeping me entertained). Our relationship really grew once he got me interested in bicycling 22 years ago. We spent countless hours and probably thousands of miles on the road riding together. I think this is when we became like twins. It got to the point we knew what each other was thinking when on a bike ride and even would reach down for the water bottle to take a drink at the same time. Some of my best memories with him are the times when we were on the bicycle hammering away at the pedals in our quest to go faster and faster. We had great times after rides when we would talk about what we saw and did while pedaling. We pushed each other very hard and it was so much fun. He also deserves credit for the many times he has fixed my cars and other things for me.
To my oldest sister:
My oldest sister is about Eight and a half years younger than me and is definitely a Joy in everyone’s life. What a wonderful and pretty addition to the family she was when she came into this world and broke the string of 3 boys. It was different dealing with a sister so I used my tried and true approach and had her playing wiffle ball as soon as she could swing a bat. (I actually think I taught her how to swing a bat.) It paid off because along with my other sister she turned out to be a pretty darn good softball player. I was so proud when together they won the league championship in the 10-12 year old age bracket. But pink uniforms? Ugh. She always has had a good sense of humor and is fun to be around. I missed a lot of her growing up while I was in college but am happy to report she has turned out just fine without my constant advice on how to hit a curveball. She is handy around the house and even put up wallpaper for me in one of my houses. She also does stuff I won’t even try to do around the house like putting up drywall. She has a great family and is a wonderful wife and mother. I wish I could learn to deal with life’s ups and downs as easily as she does.
To my youngest sister:
The “baby” of the family is about nine and a half years younger than me and is another pretty addition to the family and also a “victim” of my wiffle ball. She was a scrappy player and was the pitcher on that championship team while my older sister played outfield. Both were sluggers and I think the wiffle ball they played at age 5 and 6 had a lot to do with it. At least that is my story and I will stick to it. I also missed a lot of her growing up while I was in college but always enjoy her company and she also has inherited a good sense of humor. When she was in her late teens and early twenty’s, I had a good time hanging out with my grown up baby sister. I found out my little sis was pretty cool. I think her personality traits are a lot like mine in some respects. I realized this not too long ago when I was going on and on analyzing something and she was joining in on the “fun”. Most people will tire of my lengthy analysis. She was either enjoying it or was being kind to me. Both of my sisters need to step up their efforts in “fixing” things for me like my brothers but both are great cooks and have “fixed” me many awesome meals. My youngest sister also has a great family and is a wonderful wife and mother.
My message to my Mom and Dad is written above. Look what good kids you raised.
Have a great week and take some time to tell your loved-ones how you feel about them.