Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guys I Admire More Than I Can Say

I have been blessed with five brothers. I did not always see it this way, but the older I get, the more I realize that they are probably the greatest gift my parents ever gave me. Though we come from the same parents and have had pretty much the same upbringing, we are all as different as could be. Take away the relationship and we could be strangers at a party. But we're not, and for that I am grateful.

Brother Number 1

I never would have believed it when we were kids, but he's a heck of an organizer and a very good leader. When he was young, he couldn't find his way out of a paper bag. Now he directs large groups of people - including giving them directions, or leading them out of the swamp with a compass and a pencil. The military has been wonderful and awful - it's helped him grow as a man and lit a fire under him like nothing else did. But it's also taken him away. He's about to go away again and I find that I will miss him. I never know when to call him because he's on duty at some pretty strange hours, so it's a treat when he calls just because he's on his way from point A to point B and wants some company. And it's pretty cool that he wants mine.

Be safe over there, sir!

One of the cool things about Brother Number 1 is that he is generous. When any of the other brothers needed help or a place to stay, he opened his door to what we semi-jokingly call Man House. Man House was a good place to put your life back together after it all went to hell. Brother Number 3 is his roomate, but brothers 4 & 5 have both spent time living at Man House.

Brother number 1 has been a godsend to all of us at various times - and we appreciate it!

Brother Number 2 stayed here in town. He's quite the character with his turqoise tow truck! He used to have a wolf that rode around on the back of it wearing sunglasses, so everyone in town knew who he was. He's that white knight that comes out of the night to help with a flat tire or a dead battery or to take your car to the shop when it refuses to budge another inch. On more than one occasion, he has saved my vehicular bacon. And I'm not the only one. There have been newspaper articles about the unidentified tow truck operator who swooped in and helped the stranded motorist, sometimes doing the repair himself if it was late and there were no shops open.

He is also very generous. Much of the time, especially now, things are tough - but if he can help you out in anyway, he will.

Brother Number 3

This brother was the family clown. He has always had a quirky sense of humor, an inventive streak when it came to practical jokes, and a dead-pan delivery that could fool even those who know him best. He came home from the Army about the same time I arrived back in town after my first marriage ended. We both lived with the parents for about three months, at which point I think ALL of us were ready for #3 and me to move out. We got an apartment together and managed to stick together for a year before going our separate ways. I am grateful for that time though, because I didn't really know this guy. He was still a kid when I left home. What I discovered was that he was very smart in addition to being funny, and though he was a hard-body body builder, his insides were rather soft and mushy. I love this about him. When he returned for his latest high school reunion, he was confronted by the principle whose life was made far too interesting when my brother was a student. He asked what Brother #3 wound up doing for a living. I think he was expecting bartender or career waiter or some other career that didn't ask for much. He was floored when he found out.

This brother puts his life on the line everyday for the community he serves. He has been injured but is always eager to get back out there and do his job. And he is apparently very, very good at it. His strength is, ironically, his sense of humor - the thing that got him in the most trouble as a teen is the very thing that helps him do his job well when dealing with teens. I am very proud!

Brother Number 4

When he was little, he was our flower child. Everyone liked brother number 4! Sibling rivalry just didn't seem to exist with this one at all. He was an easy going kid and an adventurer. As a toddler, he was the consummate escape artist. There one moment, gone the next. It's a very good thing that life moved at a slower pace back then because he would take off and go walk-about on his own - at age 3! Once, the grumpy old guy down the block showed up on our doorstep, Number 4 under his arm. When Mom answered the door, he held him out and asked, "This yours?" Life hasn't always been magical though. He married and divorced. Spent time in Man House, but had a really hard time finding a job. The adventurer resurfaced though, when he decided to move to South Korea and teach English at a school there. It was probably the best decision he ever made, because there, he met his bride-to-be. They are perfect for each other and from the pictures I've seen, they just shine in each other's company.

It will be a traditional wedding with traditional dress. But it appears that pictures are taken ahead of time and in several different outfits. Above is them in hanbok.

and this is in western dress. They will marry in Korea and then next year, come to be married in the US. I am so proud of how this gentle soul has turned his life around and found both love and peace. And I am very excited to be a part of it all.

Brother Number 5

Last, but not least, is Brother Number 5. I didn't know this one. He was born just before I turned 18 and left home. I was busy trying to build my own life and didn't pay that much attention to him. Then I moved far away and never saw him, but occasionally dreamed about him. When I returned, he was in high school, trying to figure out who he was and how he fit into the world. I rather enjoyed him then. We talked and I became his champion when he wanted out of the IB program - and again when he decided to move to NYC after graduation. I've always admired his guts and determination to pick up and move far away to start his own life. It wasn't always easy. He wanted to be an actor, but instead became an ace bartender and waiter. He moved back South and lived in Man House for a while - and got his feet under him. He learned that he was a good manager of people and businesses and once he had those skills honed, move back to the place I believe is his REAL hometown - NYC. He's making it there.

And he's still gutsy and determined. Last weekend, he completed a 285 mile bike ride from Boston to New York as part of the Braking The Cycle fundraiser.

It was iffy, whether or not he'd get to ride. It was hard getting people to donate to the level where they'd let him ride. Family and friends - and friends of family and friends of friends via word of mouth and FaceBook postings donated enough for him to ride, though it was short of his goal. But people are still giving. At last look, he was $1005 away from reaching it. If you haven't donated and would like to, click on the link above to go to his donation page. The ride, to raise funds for HIV/AIDs research was big news up north! I'm so proud of him for doing this - a worthwhile cause and a great physical challenge at the same time!

So there you have it. Five guys, all very different; all honorable, decent men - all of whom I admire greatly. I am proud (and a bit humbled) to be big sister to all of them.


Island Rider said...

Very sweet!

Jan n Jer said...

What a wonderful tribute to your bothers. I have 3 brothers and feel so blessed.

Anonymous said...

You really do have an awesome family!! I remember, when I first heard about you I thought "How is this woman even sane, after being the eldest with 5 brothers?!" haha..

Let's see:

Brother #1 -- He and I didn't get along. We both like to be in charge and tell people what to do. Go figure. But I always respected him. He has an amazing drive, sense of self and selflessness. He's giving of everything he has (even if he wants to steer people in the direction HE thinks is best) ha..ha..

Brother #2 -- I only met him the one time and he was late because he had, yet again, stopped to help a stranded traveler. He was very quiet until Brother #3 pushed his buttons (which #3 relishes doing).

Brother #3 -- When I first saw him I thought "Yowza! I want that!" hee..hee.. I love Brother #3. He's a great guy with a lot to offer the world. He gives everything of himself to protect others.

Brother #4 -- First time I met him, he and #3 were shooting a cell phone with a rifle. ;) #4 is also a joker and giver. I'm soooo happy for him and Dawon. I wish him and his lovely future bride all the best.

Brother #5 -- I'll never forget the interaction of #1, #3 and #5. Wow. It was like a constant slap stick comedy routine. But it was all done with good nature and love. I'd never seen that before and it left a lasting impression on me that THIS is how a family is supposed to function. I admire #5 and his drive. Despite many adversities, he keeps fighting the good fight.

And lets not forget the Numero Uno person --- That would be YOU Sayre. You are a woman that I look up to. You are strong, caring, giving, loving, intelligent and beautiful. I'm blessed to consider you a friend.


Julanne said...

Sarah, I so enjoyed reading this. You're lucky to have such a wonderful family!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Your momma did a wonderful job raising wonderful men it seems! How great.
Have a pretty day!

joangee said...

Lucky you! So many brothers and each one a very special person. I sometimes wonder what it might have been like to have had brothers and/or sisters.

grace said...

so sweet sayre, I bet they love you to death!

Kila said...

What a blessing. Loved this post, and the one above it of your family photos.

Nona said...

Dear dear Sayre, what a lovely tribute to your 5 amazing brothers. You're lucky to have them and they you.