Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy birthday, Mark

April 15 looms large in many a mind. Today people are frantically pushing the limit of the tax deadline. And 97 years ago today, the world's newest and supposedly unsinkable ocean liner met its final, frigid fate in the north Atlantic. The Titantic took more than 1500 lives with her.

But on my calendar, it's my younger brother's birthday. Mark is turning 52 today. Even though he towers over me and is a grown man, I still think of him as my little brother.

I was born with a high bossiness quotient and Mark inherited a high compliance quotient. The combination had predictable results. My earliest memory involves stuffed animals and a hall closet. I dragged Mark through endless games created in my own mind, shoving the poor kid in a closet and ordering him to stand guard over our stuffed animals. He cheerfully complied, never questioning my authority.

One day at lunchtime mom perched us on tall stools to eat our lunch. Mark lost his balance and crashed to the floor, the leg of the stool puncturing his chin. My job was to hold a cloth diaper to his bleeding chin on the ride to the hospital. A little queasy, I put up a brave front as the dutiful big sister. It might have been the only time I was his servant rather than the reverse.

Because of his innate goodness, Mark overlooks the failures of others, including his bossy big sister. He has endured heartache in his life but manages to navigate the rough waters, patiently looking for the sun and smoother sailing.

Sunny skies and a happy birthday, Mark!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Thanks, big is. I love you dearly and always will. I always felt that if I stuck close to you, the sunny skies would soon come. I was right!