Big Brother

Me & GerryNo, this post is not about the reality television show; it’s about my older brother Gerry.

Today is Gerry’s birthday. I won’t say how old he is, but he is my older brother, so I have known him my entire life. My mother used to tell me how he was always kissing me when I was a baby. I don’t have any memories of that brother, but I certainly remember the one who considered torturing me a sport; a sport, like all he tried, at which he quickly excelled.

At times I think he even caught himself by surprise with his antics, like the time he held one of my favorite hair clips out the car window and accidentally dropped it. I was so upset my father wouldn’t stop the car and go back for it (we were on Interstate 85 on our way to Alabama). I’m sure it was at least 30 minutes before he had the courage to begin torturing me again.

And of course, there were the fun times when he, Sue and I came together as a team. Like the time my Dad was sleeping on the couch after working the midnight to 8am shift. My mother had gone out and of course warned us not to disturb our father. As we thought of ways to amuse ourselves we decided to each take turns crawling along the back of the couch without waking Dad. Sue, being the youngest and the smallest went first. She was doing great until she lost her balance, rolled on top of Dad and onto the floor. The three of us froze as we expected Dad to wake up in less than a forgiving mood. But either due to his exhaustion, Sue’s slight build or a combination of the two, he never moved a muscle. Gerry and I sighed in relief as we realized how close we came to trouble.

Despite his sometimes annoying older brother ways, no one ever had a stauncher protector. Gerry may have believed what he could do to me and Sue had no limits but the same was not true of others. He had zero tolerance when it came to his sisters and he made sure everyone knew it.

As an adult I was proud to be part of his wedding party and even more proud the day I held my brand new nephew and godson in the hospital. How far we had come.

After my parents moved in with me I remember family visits when Mom would be sitting at the table and smiling. When I would ask her why she would tell me, “I love hearing the three of you teasing each other and laughing. I hope you will always be close.”

Well Mom, you got your wish.

And big brother, I wish you a very happy birthday.

Love, Lynn


  1. Gerry

    Thanks Val….and Lynn for a sweet story

  2. Sue

    Would you believe I just told that story to my friend Cee Friday when we were walking!? But as I remember it was a rainy day and we were sporting pirate hats made from newspaper.

  3. Val

    Happy Birthday to Gerry!


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