Friday, March 14, 2008

Guest Blogger - My Younger Brother, Ro-Ro . . .

My favorite younger brother (there is only one entrant to the competition but Ryan does NOT win by default), Ryan is one of my favorite people in the whole, wide world.

People used to think we looked a little alike (and my parents claim that, since my surgery, the confusion has started to return). I wish, in some ways, I was more like my brother. He took the "road less traveled" by taking the same profession my parents chose to give their lives to (public education . . . big challenges, little tiny paychecks) and he has become the glue for the three children my parents raised. We do have our sensitivity, our concern for others, our "heart on our sleeves" sensibilities and our never-ending love for The Big Lebowski in common but - we are not "twins."

Ryan is smart, funny, charming and single (hey LADIES) and, if I had to choose a partner for any trivia or drinking game, Ryan would be the first person I would call. His heart is as big as could be (sometimes to his own peril) and I appreciate, greatly, that he's always stood by me as a brother and a friend. Thanks for being a supporter and for your kind words, Ryan. I love you very much!

Overall, Sean has a always been a big brother, a counselor, a knowledge giver, a source of debate and a friend. The Sean I always remember was a very moody. Somedays he would laugh with you and make your cry you were laughing so hard. Other days it was best to just stay out of the house and hope that you could avoid annoying him any further. However, Sean has a had some major changes in the past 3-4 years of his life. He has fallen in-love, gotten married, become a dad - making me the uncle of the cutest girl ever, and of course undergone a major surgery - one I would not have the courage to do. All of which should have set off "moody Sean," and sometimes did.

In prepping for his surgery, Sean hit many complications and insurance road blocks, but he never gave up. As he was awaiting to go in for the surgery, I can remember several times talking to him about his feelings, and to my surprise, he always seemed optomistic and knew he had to do this for him and to secure his health for his family for years to come. Though the path was rough from start to finish, and I can imagine still is rough from time to time, Sean has done an exceptional job at steering the right course.

Since his surgery, Sean has dropped an enormous amount of weight. Not just that, he has seemed to gain a new perspective on life. Though I reside in Maryland and he in Kansas, I do frequent his web-site and am amazed to see the progress he has made by looking over pictures of my big brother. Beyond the pictures, talking to Sean I have seen a dramatic change in his attitude. "Moody Sean" has seemed to move out and there are times I, being the youngest brother, I still cannot bring that out of him. I guess what I am trying to say is that Sean has become a new person in my eyes.

No longer can I call him my "big" brother, but my older brother.

He remains to be my counselor, knowledge giver, sometimes source of debate and alway friend. I love you, Sean and I cannot tell you how proud I am of you.

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