My brother's birthday was this week. The little booger turned 21, and is freaking excited he can finally go into bars and drink legally. In fact, he is coming to stay with me tonight, and we're going to hit up some hot spots in Nashvegas.
On Monday night, we had a little family party for him, complete with cheesecake for his birthday dessert. He doesn't really care for actual cake. But cheesecake, he could eat an entire one all by himself. We also had him a bunch of presents. I of course got him a bottle of vodka, his favorite liquor.
Grandma came that night, also. And when he unwrapped the present she gave him, we all began to cry. Inside was a simple wooden jewelry box containing an old beat up belt buckle and a pipe.
We are not a complete family anymore. Papa passed away in 2008 after a short illness that took his mind from us first. We are close knit. We love each other dearly, and we all live less than a mile away from each other. When Papa died, we were all heartbroken, and although its been over two years now, there are still moments when we are all together that we reminisce and begin to cry.
The jewelry box was his. The pipe was the one he had forever, but only smoked once. The belt buckle was the one he wore to church every Sunday, and nowhere else. When Matt (brother dear) opened the box, Papa's smell of Old Spice filled the room, and it felt like he was there in the room with us.
My brother is around 6' 4", and weighs around 280 pounds. To see tears dripping down his face is not a common occurrence. Which made all the rest of us cry even harder. And when he said "Thank you" to grandma, it was so heartfelt.
Although it was a moment of sadness and happiness in remembering the dearest man on earth to me, next to my daddy and Patrick, it is a memory I will always cherish. My family is one full of love for each other. We may mess up and make mistakes, but we will always be there for each other.
Happy birthday, kiddo. Love you.