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"Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Duck photo source: Lisa's Chaos
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Giraffe Journal

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both self-hosted at WordPress
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rather than under a
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I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Monday, May 5, 2008

FunMonday#5 & Slice of Life#1 - A Hero in My Life

(Thanks to Betty for this nifty Fun Monday graphic)

Fun Monday is hosted this week
by Kitten ...

She asks us to write ...
"about the Super Hero in your life. Not from TV, but anyone that has been or is in your life that you have really looked up to or has made a impact on your life. It can one or many. You can share pictures if you like. Just have fun with it."
6:30am - I've just found this week's 'invitation' and possibilities swirl in my mind as I consider who to select ... my brother, dad, sister, mom ... 5th grade 'exchange' teacher ... the Methodist minister from my younger adult years ... any one of my aunts on my dad's side of the family ... or various 'mentors' and/or 'colleagues' throughout my years as an educator ... a neighbor I admire & respect highly ... or any number of friends in my life? I'm wishing I'd found the challenge last night so I could have 'slept' on it and awakened 'inspired' ... but, alas, here I sit ... sipping my 1st cup of coffee ... realizing I need to just make a decision and begin. Ah ... and as I re-read the prompt I notice it gives me permission to write about 'more than one' so I'll continue to type and see what my fingers come up with ;--)

My brother was 9 when I arrived on the scene in 1945 ... so he would have been in 4th grade. Having taught kids of that age who experienced 'a baby entering the family' gives me a 'frame of reference' to understand what that must have been like for him from his perspective. I suspect he took it 'in stride' without being 'interested or involved' any more than necessary.

I recall watching (and eventually helping) him fold newspapers to deliver each morning before school. He was an 'asthmatic' kid who tried not to let 'breathing problems' slow him down ... and in those days we had no 'medicine' to assist ... so he learned 'mental methods' on his own and kept going no matter what. It was 'the family way' of dealing with life ... do what you can with what you have where you are and never give up.

D was smart ... but 'bored' with school most of the time. He did 'enough to get by' ... earning Cs unless he was intrigued by the subject matter (or teacher). Then he 'excelled' earning As. As things had been for my dad, there wasn't much 'middle ground' in his view. Issues were 'black & white' and his 'positions' on them 'clear-cut' with no room for 'shades of gray' ... leading to many a 'heated' discussion with others (including myself until I developed some perspective of the 'process' and 'disengaged' emotionally during such 'academic' discussions).

When I was 12, he taught me to play tennis and to water-ski ... mainly so he'd have someone to retrieve the balls on the court and to ride 'observer' in the boat with his friends; however that's how we became 'friends' for life. I've written before of his experiences in the Air Force at the age of 17 which compounded his 'health' problems and his adult life ... (#61-64 in 101Things About Me).
He married in his 30s ... had two boys ... moved to Arizona for his health ... worked as a Civil Engineer even though his education focused on Electrical Engineering ... and eventually returned to Southern California in the mid 1980s.

Throughout our lives we spent 'quality time' together on a regular basis ... because 'family' was important to us all. His presence in my life helped me become who I am today ... doggedly determined in the face of adversity ... undeterred by 'distractions' when I maintain my 'focus' ... doing my best consistently and always trying to improve. Of course, I'm still 'who I am' ... the eternal optimist looking for the good in all things ... but in a bit more 'grounded way' because of his 'reality based' approach to life and living. I miss him every day ... even as I'm grateful he isn't 'suffering' any longer.
* * * * *
Well ... it's now 7:15am ... and I've written about just ONE of my 'heroes' ... but methinks that will have to suffice for now because I'm hungry and want to eat breakfast. I'll save the other 'stories' for another time.
Click for others participating in Fun Monday this week.
Next week's host is Sauntering Soul.

Check in at Mel's too ;--)
Thought for Today
"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." Jane Howard

29 comments:

Akelamalu said...

How lovely that you have such fond memories of your brother, you must miss him terribly. x

A wildlife gardener said...

I can relate to how wonderful it is to have a brother. Mine was one of my heroes too. You can read about him here...when I wrote about him last year :)

http://ourlittlecornerofparadise.blogspot.com/2007/06/from-my-garden-of-memories.html

ChrisB said...

My brother is actually younger than me and he was always looking to me to sort out his problems when we were at school. I wonder if he would look on me as his hero I somehow doubt it!
Your brother sounds like the perfect big brother.

Jo Beaufoix said...

So wonderful that you had such an amazing person to learn from and enjoy. It must have been so hard when you lost him. Those memories are so precious aren't they? Thanks for sharing.

Hootin' Anni said...

What a wonderful write-up!

I'm here between storm fronts...we had a massive storm hit in our area about an hour ago, and I had to get things shut down [we lost 3 tvs & 1 computer from lightning even when they're protected with surge protectors...the lightning shot clear through the protectors and burned 'em good!] So, now I hear thunder in the distance and I'm unplugging. LOL Besides, the TV is a 50" screen and I don't wanna lose that, I'm spoiled.

Anyway, between storm fronts I wanted to get back on and visit some more hero tributes.

Your brother seems to have a very strong will and you both have a wonderful relationship. By all means, this is GREAT to me.

Mary said...

Storyteller,

What a wonderful tribute to your brother. I'm sure you miss him very much.

I have an older brother and we did a lot of things together when we were young. He was four years older than me and I suspect I was a nuisance to him. LOL Today we aren't close, but we're there for each other when the need arises.

Take care, my friend and please drop over to my Writing Nook and take a copy of the award for the 4 things meme.

I certainly enjoyed your comments on my posts over the last few weeks. I didn't realize you were having computer problems and hope they are all repaired now.

Love and blessings for a wonderful week.
Mary

storyteller said...

Akelamalu – I do miss him … and at the same time I feel his presence often so it’s a ‘mixed’ bag of emotions.

Wildlife gardener – Thanks for visiting and leaving the link. I’ll check it out in a little while.

ChrisB – You never know about these things, although boys might think about sisters differently. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the ‘me’ I am without his presence in my life. I’m equally grateful for my sister ;--)

Jo – It was hard to watch him grow weaker each day that final summer when I stayed with him while his wife worked to support the family, but I’m exceedingly grateful for those times too.

Hootin’ Anni – Thanks! Sorry about the storms you’re experiencing and I hope you don’t experience damage as a result. I understand the desire to ‘check in electronically’ but it might be best to lose yourself in a good book instead today? Yez … we did have a wonderful relationship.

I appreciate each of you visiting and responding to my Fun Monday post today. I enjoyed sharing and am intrigued as I visit others today. This week’s invitation is a wonderful one isn’t it?
Hugs and blessings,

Karen said...

Beautiful, Storyteller! He sounds like a wonderful person!

Jan said...

I miss out having a brother, yours sounds wonderful. He was a wonderful role model. I was lucky to have lots of male cousins, and they did nicely.

Joyce said...

I very much enjoyed reading about your brother, and what he meant to you. Sometimes, the way we handle our weaknesses can be such an encouragement to others. It's good to be reminded of that. :)

kitten said...

I almost wrote about my brothers. But I have had my aunt on my mind and thought I would write of her. I have 5 brothers, well 4 living.
Very wonderful post!

Olive said...

What a touching story. It is always good to have memories such as the ones you described of your brother.

Rose said...

What a wonderful story, and is so good that you have all those nice memories of him.

Alison said...

what a wonderful tribute to your brother!!

IamwhoIam said...

Interesting prospective on the family dynamics sounds as if you and D had a special relationship.

Pamela said...

I recall my two eldest brothers coming home from college and picking me up and throwing me back and forth between their arms.

I love my brothers, too.

Sandy C. said...

Your brother sounds like he was such an inspiration, even at an early age. I loved reading about your memories of him and how he's shaped your life. You are indeed a wonderful, positive person. However, like you said, I'm sure he has grounded you in many ways. Thanks so much for sharing :)

Ivanhoe said...

What a great memories of your brother! You really are a Storyteller :o)))))
I wish I had a sibling...

Alice - I Was Born2Cree8 said...

Your brother sounds like he was a pretty fantastic guy. (I read #61-64 too) I am sad for your loss... and I am happy for D. I look forward to the day I am released from this body I am in, and in the mean time I am living life as joyously as I can manage to do. I believe that we never die, we just shed the body and go on to something higher and better. You will see D again one day... when the time is right.

Reba @ Reba's Run said...

Whoof! My Mom really loves her brothers, especially the older one. She's always worshiped the ground he walks on. I know this, but I don't even know Uncle Terry, or Uncle Bernie either. Neither ever come to visit Mom. Every few years they'll all be at Nan's at the same time, so exchange a few words woof Mom, but don't think she's important. Hoomans are weird!! But don't worry, Mom's okay. She's got Me. Bark!!

storyteller said...

Mary – Hmmm … looks like you left your comment while I was responding to the first 5 visitors Monday morning. How serendipitous!!! I enjoyed catching up finally at your Writing Nook yesterday and am hopeful I’ll be able to stay abreast of things more regularly now that I’ve ‘moved’ a ton of files from my ‘c’ drive to an external hard drive and defragged again to free up ‘memory’ as I’ve done in the past. I ‘snagged’ a copy whilst I was there because I was pretty sure you’d say it was okay. Thanks ;--)

Karen – He was certainly a special member of our family … wonderful son to our parents, brother to my sister and I … husband and father to his wife and sons. He would have loved to live long enough to meet his 5 grandchildren, but that was not to be.

Jan – I’m happy you had ‘male cousins’ you were close to since you didn’t have a brother.

Joyce – Thanks for sharing your reactions so specifically here. You're always so supportive and encouraging ;--)

Kitten – You might recall I listed multiple possibilities at the outset of this post … then ended up writing about the first on my list. Perhaps I’ll write about the others at a later time.

Olive – I’m happy you found it so. Thanks!

Rose – I’m just beginning to get a sense of ‘voice’ as a ‘blogger’ writing my truth and it’s reassuring to know there are ‘readers’ out there who find what I share of interest.

Alison – Thanks for saying so.

IamwhoIam – Thanks and we certainly did. As for my perspective … one doesn’t spend 34 years teaching school (nor complete coursework for a Masters Degree in Counseling) without developing an understanding of ‘family dynamics’ … though it’s not always easy to apply it to our own family of origin ;--)

Pamela – Hmmm … I’m wondering how much older than you they were?

Sandy – The funny thing is that I never SAW myself as ‘little’ … or ‘younger’ … and fully believed I could (and should be able to) do anything anyone else did … always! I suppose that made me a bit of a handful ;--)

Ivanhoe – Why what a lovely compliment! Thank you. Since you don’t have a sibling … you might create a similar ‘connection’ with a friend.

Alice – He was special to me always. Thank you. Actually, I share your perspective about life & death … often feel the presence of my dad, mom, and brother with … always have.

Reba – Molly’s happy you stopped by and agrees your Mom’s lucky to have YOU in her life! I hope your mom finds a way to ‘connect’ with her brothers in whatever way makes her happiest.

I appreciate all of you visiting and sharing your reactions to my memories of my brother. Thank you all. If I’ve not been to your blog yet, I’ll get there soon as soon as time permits. I hope you’re all having a delightful day!
Hugs and blessings,

Patience-please said...

As a child who had two big sisters, I was so awed by the whole notion of having a big brother! Looks like you hit the big brother jackpot.

Thanks for sharing.

storyteller said...

Patience – Yup … methinks I did! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!
Hugs and blessings,

lisa marie said...

The way you describe it being the family way to handle things is how my family is. So much so, that my little niece at only 3 years old said, "You get what you get, and you don't complain"

Phyl said...

I just wrote a post about my brother, too. I am sure you miss him and it is wonderful that you have such fond memories of him!

storyteller said...

Lisa Marie – How wonderful that you experienced (and your family carries on with) these traditional values! (smiling) ‘Out of the mouths of babies …’

Phyl – I’ll be over in a little while (after I figure out what to ‘haiku’ about this morning) and look forward to reading your memories of him ;--)

Thanks to you both for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I wish you a fantastic Friday!
Hugs and blessings,

Cricket's Hearth said...

This was such a wonderful tribute to your brother. I am so sorry he is no longer with you in the flesh, but I know he will always be there for you in spirit. I will copy this into the Slice of Life Sunday Pie Safe.

Tina Coruth said...

Storyteller,

What a wonderful tribute to your brother. I can see that you treasure your memories of him.

hugs,
Tina

storyteller said...

Cricket – Thanks … I do know this to be true. So, just what IS the Slice of Life Sunday Pie Safe? Inquiring minds want to know ;--)

Tina – I do have fond feelings for my brother … and often wish he was still around ;--)

Delightful to find comments from both of you! Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs and blessings,

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