Other than my kids, I don’t think there are any people I might prefer to predecease. The possible exception is my brother.
Today is Hal’s birthday. I know him better than I have in any of his prior fifty-eight years. I’m sure he feels the same way about me.
Maybe not. It doesn’t matter. I know him.
We were born only 16 months apart, but our perspectives of our childhood together don’t always parallel. Our heroes were different growing up and although the factoids of our past are the same, much of what I thought was funny he saw with pain. And vice versa.
I was the first born son. This brought with it the requisite:
First to go to school, first to play little league, first Bar Mitzvah (I even had the bigger reception).
First to drive, first to graduate, first to college,
First to marry, first child.
Hal is the funniest person I know; he is loyal; he “has my back.” He always was and did, but I just didn’t know it. I was too busy being first to recognize this Sleeping Giant.
He has been, since Day One, the model of consistency, fiscally responsible, and a true family man. Good stuff.
Not that it matters, but the true math suggests that my brother was actually first where it really counted:
The first to be the man he was supposed to be.
The first to be … a man.
And that is why his older brother looks up to him.

Happy Birthday, H.

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