To My Brother (The Optimist) On His Birthday

Dear Optimist:

First, you don’t follow me. I’d say “you are dead to me” but it is your birthday and that is not very birthdayish. But tomorrow- dead to me.


As you, and I quote, “slide into decrepitude”, I wish you the very best. As the eternal Optimist, I know you will be facing your aging with grace and dignity, a few shots of Jameson and bed by 9pm.

You will, I am sure, view you life as you always have- glass half empty. You’re going to “let it rust”.

This requires a back story. (Full disclosure: I am writing this from memory. This happened 30+ years ago. I usually cannot remember the names of my children, so the content of this story may somewhat be embellished or exaggerated. But what is he going to do? He’s 2 time zones away.)

When The Optimist was but a mere lad he got a new bike for his birthday. A new bike with NO TRAINING WHEELS. The Optimist was skeptical, but willing to rise to the challenge.

At the time we were at our beach house for the summer. Our house was on an unpaved road that barely got any traffic. It was perfect in the regard that it was highly unlikely The Optimist would get hit by a car. Not as perfect as the surface was a bit unstable. Though I am not sure that the surface was the only unstable aspect of this incident.

My dad, with the patience of a….what is something that has no patience? That is what he has the patience of. Anyways, he took him out for the age old daddy responsibility of teaching his son how to ride his bike.

With our sort-of sister, Brick, and I cheering from the sidelines (this would be one of those embellishments I was talking about), my dad held onto the back of The Optimists biked and ran with him down the street and when he let go the first time….The Optimist fell. As would be expected…it was the first trial run!

So, again and again,with Brick and I cheering (embellishment), The Optimist fell, and fell, and fell. The Optimist, in a fit of discouragement, threw his bike to the side of the street. At that time it started to rain and he walked towards the house. My mom was coming out and she said; “Optimist, aren’t you going to get your bike? It’s starting to rain.”

The Optimist: “Let it rust” and he stomped inside.

But in all seriousness, you are one of my favorite persons on this whole planet and possibly one of the funniest persons I have ever met.

So for today, I am sending out all my love. I will always be cheering for you on the sidelines.





One thought on “To My Brother (The Optimist) On His Birthday

  1. Pingback: Fight or Flight v. Drop and Give Up | My Special Kind of Crazy

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