Same brother . . . new chapter

Originally posted March 11, 2015

Dear Larry,

All I sought in San Diego was warm weather and sunshine. The week with you and Gretchen brought all that but I hadn’t expected the sun to open my eyes to a brilliant discovery. It happened somewhere between Mainly Mozart and Rotary International. 

Larry, his wife, Gretchen and I at Mainly Mozart gala in a hangar housing a Ford Trimotor

For more than seven decades, you’ve always been “the smart one.” On more than one occasion I’ve suggested that, while most of us kept our smarts in our heads, you were sitting on yours. But the fact is you have an incredible mind. Which makes your present ills especially sad for me to see. Things that have all your life been second nature are now slipping away. And there’s no realistic expectation of recapturing them.

In spite of these losses I’ve witnessed sweet changes. It may not seem that way to you. Understandably so . . . you have your hands full wrestling with things that most of us take for granted. Struggling with simple things as you do must be terribly humbling. But you accept that forced humility with grace. And as you do so, I feel our sibling rivalry melting away and a new closeness taking its place. I hope others also get to know this side of you better.

Perhaps because things that once came easy are now challenging, you’ve become very persistent. Time and again you have something on your mind and spend what must feel like an eternity groping for words. But you persevere and your thoughts come to life – all the more colorful for the expletives NOT deleted.

Expletives aside, you remain sunny. I doubt that I could be at peace if I had to walk in your moccasins. Sure there’s an occasional dammit as you wrestle with a light switch or can’t seem to make a key work. But even then the words seem directed inward and you immediately bounce back to your usual punny self.

A special blessing amid all this loss is Gretchen. Most people would require help simply managing daily routines. Yet she does all that and still finds time to orchestrate a myriad adventures – local and all over the world. And really, after thirty years you’re still acting sweet and silly with each other? I’d swear you were newlyweds.

Larry, though years and miles have separated us, I discovered that I want to change that. I want to continue to connect with you as a brother. I know every day brings you challenges. I hope each day also brings you delights. And I hope to share many, many of them with you.

With love,

October 9, 2020 – Larry has since moved to a facility specializing in serving those with memory disabilities. Although he remains physically healthy, he didn’t know me when I saw him in February. Covid 19 has precluded any visits since then, but I’m looking forward to seeing him again when travel permits.

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