Seems like there have been nothing but birthday parties in the family for a while lately!! Well last night was another one. This time it was a younger member. This young man turned 24 last night. I try to remember what I was doing at 24 then I remembered I was married and working for a company digging ditches!! It was a good job but man was it hard work. I think it was during that phase of my life I figured out I was not the manual labor guy!! But enough about me. What made this party special was the fact that, as in all birthday dinners, the honoree was in charge of the guest list. It was a simply list. Just us!!! No friends, no others his age, not what you would expect from a man of his age. Not even one really hot 20 something girl!!
As we all sat around this table I was struck by the real sense of family that was surrounding the entire table. The age ranged from 93, my angel of a mother in law, to 22 the sister of the honoree. At one point I looked up and there were at least 5 different conversations going at once. However, there was the most beautiful hum in the room. The room was simply a glow with the sense of family and friends. A more comforting feeling I have never experienced. It took me back to my youth. I can remember sitting around the kitchen table either waiting on my Dad to get home or eating with my Mother and sisters. That feeling was always there, what a blessing. The family bond.
As we sat around thinking we were all in our own little conversations. The glass was tapped, the group quieted and the toasts started. Well it is a very special moment when you get to hear what your brothers think about you, especially when you are the youngest of the boys. I can only imagine when they were all small the lengths the younger would go to impress the older. Yet it seemed as if the tables were turned as we all sat there and listened to the older ones praised the younger.
Now for a brief bit of info on the honoree; He is a lover of life. There is nothing this young man is afraid of, in my opinion. He lives, loves and existed with reckless abandon. He thinks he can do anything, of this I am a bit jealous. He heads into that still dark night of life carrying the light of youth and fully expects everything to work out to his favor. Has he lost on occasion, absolutely! Has he won some, no doubt. He learns a lot like I did in the school of hard knocks. The trouble with that school is the diplomas are always given out later in life. But they are the most special of all degrees given. This young man will be a leader of men and a huge success. Will he fall along the way, without question. But I believe he has the will power and courage to get up and get back in the fight. He might even graduate from Hard Knock U early and with honors!!
As I sat there last night watching this all unfold in front of me I was thinking how different family members are, and how we are all bond together by a common thread. If you look at the brothers as a case study this is played out in full. The oldest brother, an entrepreneur, working hard to get his business up and running profitably, the middle brother, and executive with a fortune 500 company well on his way to the top of the corporate ladder. Both showing love and support for their younger brother in any endeavor he chooses. Both telling of the pride they share in his accomplishments, to this point, and both having great expectations for his future success. A truer family moment would have been hard to find.
I often wonder what I have missed in life by not having a brother. I have people I think of as brothers. I have people I love and are important to me. However, I would be crazy if I thought for one moment it is anything near the bond these young men had last night. The element I am missing; the family bonds the thread of family that last night was holding everyone together as if we were holding hands even when we were talking over each other.
I have stated here many times the blessing I have been given, and the love afforded me from this family I call mine.
Well not sure whose birthday will be next, but there is one thing for sure. The family will gather I will be moved and once again proud to be a part of this very special group of people I call my family.
The Blessed Man