Today is my brother Jim’s birthday. He died of AIDS in 1994. I wish he were around. I miss him.
Jim was one of those guys who was on the cutting edge of whatever he did. He was the first person I knew who owned a car phone, he bought a laserdisc player when they first came out, and he became a laser surgeon at the very beginning of lasers. He loved technology and wanted to be among the first to try out whatever was new. He was also an adventurer. He joined the Norwegian Merchant Marine when he was in his 20s and sailed around the world while peeling potatoes. He rode his Norton motorcycle from California to Texas and then back again. He owned both a plane and a big sailboat and was often either up in the air or out on the ocean. In other words, he was always stretching and growing; he was on the move.
Jim had a way of crinkling his eyes when he was happy to see you that read, “I love you,” loud and clear. I appreciated that about him. He also had a strong sense of loyalty. He could get mad at you one minute then be over it the next. “Water under the bridge” was one of his favorite sayings and he meant it. Once he was over something, it was done. No need to revisit it.
Here’s a picture of Jim (on the right) with our brother older brother, John. They were best friends. John also died of AIDS and Jim took care of him when he got sick. That was 1991. Jim died 4 years later in 1995. Ray, our girls, and I took care of him when he was sick. I miss both of these guys every day. I know they are looking down from heaven, urging me on, anytime I want to slow down and notice. They were two of my biggest supporters in this life. The feeling was mutual.
Happy birthday, Jim. Here’s to your special day.