Monday, February 20, 2006

They Say It's Your Birthday.....

Happy Birthday big bro. My, how you have aged!

Why, it just seems like yesterday when you were sitting on the sofa watching TV daring me or Jim to walk in front of it so you could pop us with your belt--taught by dad, no doubt, grin. I used to love how you would beat Jim up (because he was mean to me, pout). Remember when you told him to put a glass Christmas bulb in his mouth. He did. It broke. I did kinda feel sorry for him then, but not for long. I'm sure he beat me up for it. Or the time you both were fighting, he fell down on the floor and you put one of those 60s plastic blow-up chairs over his head and sat on him? I giggled, he couldn't breath, snicker. (I'm sure he beat me up that time too.)

You two had it made. You were allowed to do almost anything. You went to see The Beatles, hello, THE BEATLES. I was too young. (I just wanted to go and scream, that's all--girls.) You were able to go to Woodstock! Dad even DROVE you. Too young again, probably a good thing in hindsight. I remember, every weekend, mom and dad would pack us all into the station wagon to drive you downtown to the war demonstrations. I can't say how many times we were tear gassed after dropping you off. What wonderful memories of DC in the 60s. hehe. "Mom, is that a girl or a boy with the long hair?" (If you had been in the car, I'm sure you would have punched me! Jim probably did.)

Yes, you, you were always dad's favorite. He loved you best. You can tell by the size of this birthday cake!! By the time I came around, I was lucky to even get a cupcake for my birthday! (Kidding, of course.)

When you grew and went away, you were always on our minds and in our hearts. We saw you whenever we could. We were happy when you came home after high school. And then you were off again, off on your own. Living with Sid and Mary and Blue. Remember when you and Mary broke up? You came home and she followed you? Mom had to sober her up while you snuck out the back. Oh, to be young and in love.......grin. Now, tell me. Is that a NIXON button on your hippie vest? On your way to Woodstock???

Did you stencil this outside Central Photo? I bet it was YOU! The joys of working at the photo lab. From the time we could count, we were put to work, honestly--either selling souvenirs for Aunt Ollie or processing photos for dad. That was our extracurricular activities from a very early age. I think it made us appreciate the value of work and independence; Jim thinks it messed him up deeply--the difference between the middle child and the baby, I guess. You probably didn't care either way.

When you had your accident, it almost did dad in. You were his baby, his first born, his love child. I had to pull him together to get down to be with you. He finally did. He drove that big ugly yellow Cadillac (fondly named The Yellow Submarine--his favorite Beatles song--NOT) all the way to Texas to be with you and he stayed there until you came home. He spent every free moment with you during rehab and on Carlin Springs. We all tried to be there for you.

Now, time has passed, dad is no longer with us, mom is here with me and you and Jim are still be-bopping along up in DC. Today, as I think back on our childhood, our adult years and all that we have been through together as a family, I realize a lot of who I am today is because of you. I learned from your mistakes, I learned through your music, your ups and downs, good and bad. Your entire life was there before for me to learn from. Guess that's what big brothers are for.

I hope today is not just another day in your life. I wish you a very happy birthday big bro; and I hope that this year brings you the joy and happiness you deserve. I love you brutha.

P.S. A big ol' shout out to cousin James and brother-in-law Gerry! Happy Birthday guys!!


John Ivey said...

Little sister,

What a wonderful birthday present. Thank you! It made me laugh a lot and cry little (especially about the part about Dad when I had my accident. I had forgotten about all the stuff I had done to Jim, except for the Christmas ornament incident. I didn't realize that I was pushing glass into his mouth saying " Here, eat this." I felt bad about that afterwards.

Thank you again, Rose,

Yo Bruva, Johnnyleehoo

Rosa said...

Aww, what are 'lil seestas for?



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