To my brother, Andrew, on his 29th birthday

Andrew, Happy 29th Birthday! I can’t believe you are 29 already, and I suppose I will say that same thing when you turn 30 (as you will too I presume). In any case, some big things are happening in your life as of late, and getting engaged seems to be the most profound among those life changes. These are exciting and profound moments in your life that deserve ubiquitous celebration!

There is no doubt that we have had our share of differences as brothers, but I think I must begin by simply stating that I am proud of you, care about you, and love you. I am enjoying getting to know you as we both grow older even though we are quite different. It is obvious to anyone who knows us, but I am not sure that as we have grown up that we have always understood these differences or how to deal with them appropriately. When we were younger I remember fighting, arguing, and fighting some more , but in the end we just told Mom and Dad that this was the way in which we shared affection with one another and it all seemed to work out :). If only brotherly relationships were that simple-unfortunately they are not and I think we both can attest to that. It has taken us a while, but over time we have finally begun to learn the arduous skill of verbal communication between siblings and men. I hope that we continue to learn this lifelong skill and to do so with honesty.

We are still quite different, and there is no way around that fact, but I have started to realize that there are things that we need to learn about one another and from one another. On the one hand I have learned that you are practical and pragmatic about things in life that I am not, and you are growing to be a great business man as you work the Pirates. You also care for people and for our family quite well. I have no doubt that you will provide and be a responsible man for your family as it grows in the future. You are passionate, too. You have a zeal that is not only noteworthy but influential. You are a man of your word and it seems to me that you do what you say you are going to do, which I have seen and value. These are some of the many qualities that I appreciate about you.

While there are numerous differences between us, I know that there are also numerous similarities that are sometimes too embarrassing to bring to light. The embarrassing attributes usually find their origin in our Father (sorry pops). I think we both can agree that some of our idiosyncrasies about irrelevant matters while alien to some people are commonplace and commonsensical to us (and our Father). Unfortunately we both have to live with such a mentality that is helpful at times. Two more similarities between us that seem evident to me is our zealotry and our humor; both of which seem to find their origin in our Mother. Our humor can range from Chris Farley’s Tommy Boy to an exaggerated story that we claim was once based on a real life experience (whether or not it actually is or not is the usually up for debate). I have found that our zealotry and emotional capacity is something that can be very helpful or very harmful, and I think we both have experienced both sides of the coin in this regard. While we are both very passionate people, I know that I have had a harder time figuring out how I work and how my emotions work as I am sure you’ve experienced as well.IMG_5658 - Version 2

I know this seems extremely sentimental,but sometimes life calls for sentimentality. I am glad we are brothers and I am happy with where we are in our relationship. I am glad that we can talk with one another, struggle with one another, and rejoice with one another. Truthfully, I look forward to continued progression together. I look forward to celebrating your engagement tomorrow!

Your brother, Anthony

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