Sometimes an entry for this site is so easy to compose, it is as if it writes itself. Some are less simple and every now and then one comes along which is really, really hard to write. Often that is because it needs to be done in a way that will not be deemed offensive. Occasionally it is because it needs to be written without revealing identities. Today’s Memory is one of those very difficult ones, but for neither of those reasons. It is more to do with not wanting to embarrass someone who is sometimes all too eager not to draw attention to their talents. On the other hand, sometimes things have to be said, and when it is your little brother, well, you can’t help but say them.
Today is Kevin’s 35th birthday and he has, by my reckoning, been my brother for 34 of them (confused? Read this). I’ve not written about him on this site much to date. Part of this is that, being almost nine years younger than me, we didn’t have all that many experiences together as children as he was only 9 when I left home.
The other part is that he has always been somewhat self-effacing as an adult. He’d be the last to tell you that, for all that his big brother likes to bang on about music and sport, he is the one who has always been much better at both of them than any of his siblings. He’s a superb guitarist, plays a mean keyboard and was always a much better runner and footballer than I was.
Similarly, he won’t tell you that he’s a great landscape gardener who has transformed countless gardens for both family and friends.
Of course, he’s done some daft things (if you are going to pick a fight with someone it is probably best not to choose a kickboxing chamption) and some of them are things which make you go ‘AAARGH!’. His record of suffering hugely improbable accidents outstrips even mine (check back next week for details of the one trick we have both managed), but he is certainly not alone among my family in having done things which have utterly baffled me, in a ‘why would you do that?’ way.
At the end of the day, though, he’s my brother and I love him to bits. I might not see him or speak to him very much – I’m a bit rubbish at keeping in touch with everyone as much as I should do, so he’s far from alone in this respect – but, like all of my siblings, this doesn’t mean I don’t think about him (or them) a lot.
Happy birthday, little bro. Here’s hoping that this is the best year ever.