He looks like our father. He has our father's mannerisms. He sounds like our father. But thank the gods, he is not our father. He is Bill.
I am 6 years younger than he. I didn't interact with him much growing up. He was my big brother. The REALLY big one. I don't know what growing up was like for him. I got stories but I wasn't a part of them.
By the time I hit adulthood, he had children. We didn't talk much. We only saw each other at family gatherings.
But somewhere along the line, I really don't know where, we started talking. A little here, a little there. I think it was when I went to law school but I can't be sure.That's when we lost our mother.
I didn't know it but he was working very hard to get ahead and provide for a growing family. I was just trying to feed my daughter as best I could. He was focused on what he needed to do and I was focused on what I needed to do.
I would occasionally go to his house for a family get together. Then our father died. Then Bernie, his wife, died.
I wanted to help but I had no idea how to do that. I didn't know him. He was just my older brother that I loved.
But gradually, over the last few years, the phone began ringing a little more. I began hearing more about his travels, his golf game, his work. I began to get a glimmer of who he was.
And then Dan died.
That changed everything. I call Bill alot now. Just to say hi. I know the names of all of my grand nieces and nephews now. I tease him alot. And he is beginning to do the same. He calls. Just to say hi. He comes to my concerts.
It is a lot of fun getting to know your older brother.
And I never say goodbye without saying I love you.