Tomorrow is my brother Sam’s birthday and I’ll just like to give him a shout out from CA to Texas or Ohio or Tennessee, wherever he may be tonight.
My little brother is five years my junior and he has a musical streak that surpasses that of most mortal beings. He started pounding on a snare drum when he was little and within only a few months, he graduated to a full drum set. From there, he moved to guitar, bass fiddle and practically every other instrument made, before honing his skills on the piano to the level of a virtuoso. Sam has spent his entire life surrounded with music or music related activities and it is impossible to think about him without acknowledging his superlative skill in this area.
Growing up, singing and guitar playing were common activities in our home. Our older brother, George, loved to join in with this pastime along with our cousin, Lee, and other people in our lives. I am including a song that Sam will recognize as one that was key to those early music sessions, usually with brother George wailing out the lyrics. This is a song I can’t hear without thinking of these two beloved brothers.
Sam and I have been through a lot together over the years. We have watched many people with whom we were close die long before their time. He and I have served as midwives to more than one sibling as they faced their passage from this world to the next. This night around twenty years back, our brother Jim roused himself out of a coma to sing happy birthday to Sam. He died the next day.
Thank you, little brother, for sticking around. Stay healthy. I believe we’ve made a pact to live for at least 35 more years.
I love you very much. I appreciate your kindness in the face of hard times and your constancy of love. I never doubt for a second that you’d come if I called and I hope you never doubt it of me.
I will hold you close tonight on the eve of your birthday and wish you the best upcoming year ever.
Life is good, little brother. Let’s keep singing and dancing. Just for the sheer fun of it.