October 19, 2012

My Brother Turns Eighty This Week

At Fort Needham
I know! It is an astounding number isn't it! I'd like to point out that there is a HUGE age difference between us. It is as though I was born to a second or third or fourth wife though, in fact, I was simply at the tail end of a large family...

My brother does not have the face of an eighty year old. He looks twenty years younger and though health problems have given him a somewhat slower gait over the last year, his overall demeanor is that of a much younger man. His spirit, drive, and determination are all as indomitable as ever. Some might describe those attributes as stubborness, bloody mindedness, and denial. They are in fact, a blend, and they have served to propel him through life without the use of brakes - raising six children, all of whom gather at the family home on a daily, or at least weekly basis, maintaining any number of interests (many outdoors), serving his church,  and dabbling in part time accounting work for decades after his official retirement from CBC.

He has reached a greater age than our father and he inherited from that gentle man an amazing work ethic.

He has, in the last few years, faced health problems that would have sent lesser mortals to an armchair with an afghan and a remote control, lamenting their inability to leave the house and experience life to the fullest. Not my brother. Not long after surgery, he managed to get himself into his warm duds and went hunting in the Nova Scotia woodlands with his sons and friends as he has done year after year after year. Tied to medical equipment? Yes. Tied to the house? No. He loads it into the back of his vehicle and takes it with him to spend the summer in the garden of his country home. And winters back in his family home close to Halifax.

He is a force of nature and it is a testament to his character that he has friendships that have endured for more than half of a century. His home is a comfortable haven where conversations pick up where they last left off and familiar faces constantly come and go.

Happy Birthday, Brother. Here's a pair of socks for winter:

Pattern: Skyp Socks
Designer: Adrienne Ku
Yarn: Austermann Step Classic
Color: 1020
Needles: Circular - 2.25 mm


Susan Little, DVM said...

Thanks for a great piece on uncle. Gosh, I remember how afraid I was of him as a child! It was the force of his big personality (and maybe the swearing). Now I'm not so afraid of him - well, maybe just a little :-) But full of admiration for a life so well lived.


Melissa said...

I'm all about amazing brothers!


Yes, indeed! And you surely are one awesome sister. In a crunch, I'd pick Team Melissa every time!