Tuesday, December 07, 2010

my brother, my pal

I watched Olivier Dahan's Le Vie en Rose just before I left Oregon.

A busy Edith Piaf -- at the height of her fame -- allows a young song writer to audition a song for her.  As Charles Dumont starts playing the now-famous opening line of Non, je ne regrette rien, Edith declares: "That song is about me; it's my life."

The song has long been one of my favorites.  Since I first heard The Little Sparrow sing it.  And I have tried to live a life where I regret nothing.

But, if I could regret something, it would be being away from Oregon today.  Because it is a very special day.

My sainted brother crosses one of those major milestone birthdays -- and I should be there to help him celebrate.

We have traveled many a mile together.  I already told you it started with a rocky first act.  (pearl harbor has a competitor)  When my mother brought my new baby brother through the front door, I threw a toy truck at her and broke her glasses.

He was born on 7 December.  From the start, I thought the world was joining me in mourning my loss through their celebration of Pearl Harbor Day.  Historical understanding was to come many years later.

But things soon changed.  Even though he is two years younger, we shared a life of puppies, kittens, and fort-building.

When he joined me at Powers Elementary, I was already one of the Big Kids in third grade.  He was a first grader.

After school one day, I got into a fight with my best friend, Mike Pinson, who was picking on Darrel.  After all.  If anyone was going to beat on my little brother, it was me.  Not someone outside the family.

It is fun to reminisce now and then.  But the more important memory is the one that is being created right now.  Today.  Those are the relationships that count.

I am proud of him -- as a man, as a father, as a husband, as a grandfather.  But even more than that, I am proud to call him my brother.

Even if he is getting real, real old.

Here's to you, bro.  I wish I could be there.


Islagringo said...

what a nice tribute!

1st Mate said...

Aha! What has Darrel done now, hit the midcentury mark? I'm glad I had the pleasure of meeting both of you--the two of you seem to have a lot of fun together. You are so fortunate to have each other. Hope he can make it down to Mexico again soon.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post senor. It's easy to see the love you have for your "little brother".

Felipe said...

My only sibling is deranged, so I envy you. Really, truly. You are lucky, and happy birthday to the celebrant.

Ms. Matey: Darrel would be turning 60, of course.

Gloria said...

Hi Steve, hope you are doing okay. Happy Holidays to you. What a special tribute to your brother, that's very nice. Happy Birthday Darrel!....and many more. Take care Steve and enjoy your holidays.

Jackie said...

What a nice post. Happy birthday to Darrel.

judysquiltsandthings said...

Happy Birthday Darrel! I have a 'little brother' who is two years younger named Darrel also. Must be something about the name because he is the coolest 'little brother'.

Mike Nickell and Cynthia Johnson said...

Happy bithday to a fellow Sagittarian! And I love the picture booth picture strip...we all have them and they're some of my favorite pics!

Steve Cotton said...

Islagringo -- It was my pleasure. He is a great brother. Something you well understand.

1st Mate -- Felipe has it right. Darrel is closer to my age. But we are both like fine wine -- corked. I hope he can get back soon, as well.

Francisco -- I do indeed.

Felipe -- Lucky? I would say blessed. With my entire family.

Gloria -- And Merry Christmas to you.

Jackie -- I am certain he appreciates it.

Judysquiltsandthings -- Perhaps there is a Darrel cloner out there.

Mike and Cythia -- This may be the only picture booth strip I have kept. And I am glad I did.