Happy Birthday Bro!

Here he is with his family from left, Tom, wife Betty, grandson Odin and son Marc

Here he is with his family from left, Tom, wife Betty, grandson Odin and son Marc

My brother is 84 today. Holy cow! I remember when 84 was old. In fact it is old but not when my brother wears it.

He wears it like a bronco buster on a mechanical bull. Yehaw! Look out world I’m on my way! Yeah! Where’s my jockstrap?

Tom as a young man

Tom as a young man

He was well in his teens when I was born so we had a different friendship than most siblings. That is until I grew up and we would discuss who Mom liked best. Let’s just say that riddle was never been solved. My mother was known to chase us out of the house when we started the conversation!

My earliest memories of him were of a caring person who would take me out to play or to the movies or buy me stuff. I especially liked the “stuff” part. We still joke about the 18-wheelers that are coming to deliver (non-existent) gifts.

After my Dad died, life was different. My mother went to work. My brother was already married and out on his own but he still remembered to buy my first bike. It was second-hand but he repainted the whole thing so it looked new or at least as new as a newly painted 20-year-old bike can look.

Oh yes and ice skates which I never mastered.

What is it about ice skates? Those Olympics make it look so easy. Well, it’s not. Gliding on ice with thin metal takes a balance skill I clearly didn’t have. Most of my ice skating career was spent on my butt. They didn’t call me Zamboni for nothing!

On the other hand I was an awesome roller skater. (He bought those too.) Go figure.

As I got older I was included in his family beach vacations. (I was not a third wheel! I was fun!) We have vacationed together at the beach for most of my adult years.

During my single days, some of my crazy girlfriends came along. (He always enjoyed my single girlfriends. He called them the lily pad group because they were kissing frogs waiting for the prince emerge.) During my married life, my hubby came along.

He’s been sad when my relationships didn’t work out and happy when good things happened. He has moved me more times than he wants to remember. He has moved once. I expect the next time will be in a box.

On the other hand I told him he was crazy when he was offered a really nice retirement package (really nice) but couldn’t decide if he should take it. I was very supportive in a very type A way (that means screaming and yelling). He took it.

We have totally different personalities. He is not a type A person. (I got all of that!) He’s peaceful and laid back. Oh yes and patient. I would kill for a little of that patience gene!

He’s a fun guy with a ton of friends, a crazy wife and lots of energy. Family has always been important to him. Family and golf! As to which one comes first depends on the day….and the weather.

We have a bet as to who will outlive who. Despite the very large age difference between us (very large indeed!) I’m not too keen on a world without his annoying presence pestering me.

Happy birthday Tom!

For another story on this amazing person click here.

41 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Bro!

  1. It’s lovely to hear a sister speak so lovingly of her much, much, much older brother. 🙂 It also sounds like he’s been a very caring person who has looked out for you across your lifetime. I hope he had a very happy birthday. He does sound like a very special person, Kate.

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  2. Happy Birthday, Tom. No way that he’s 84. He looks, and I’ll bet he acts much younger – which is a good thing. He sounds like a wonderful brother and I can’t wait to read the funny stories you have about him.

    We spend part of our mini-vacations in Vegas with my brother who is 10 years younger. I remember, when I still lived home, buying him sweaters and giving him a “tiny” allowance from my paychecks. Love my “little” brother who towers over me. 😉

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  3. I love this post! Having two older brothers myself I know all the ways in which brothers can both inspire love and drive you absolutely batty all at the same time! I don’t know what we’d do without them…

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  4. I always look forward to seeing your brother.  As I posted to him, he is the youngest 84 year old I know!  We must just be dyslexic and have those digits reversed!!!!   Happy Birthday Tom!

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  5. Thanks for the tribute. Your memory is better than mine at this age. I do remember moving you more times than you care to remember. I also remember you playing airplane in your pedal car using my jockstrap as a parachute. Awesome! Too bad we don’t have a picture of that. It would be worth some “blackmail” money. I do remember a beautiful “younger” sister who was easy to love. In the neighborhood I grew up in, siblings fought tooth and nail. Not so in our house. Mom would not tolerate it. Yes, there is an age gap between us, I was in high school when you arrived. I always considered you a “love child!!”
    Thanks for the tribute, thanks for the din-din.

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