Booger is really not the best name for him (hence the reason I changed it to his chosen name and replaced it everywhere else, but I left it here because this post is about him). It is truly not a name worthy of such an individual. It was just the only thing I could think of at the time that wasn't his actual name. He might approve more of something like "Tesla" or "Boyd" though there are issues with Boyd that aren't the case with Booger, but I think they are on par with one another genius-wise. He deserves a name hard-won and distinguished yet youthful and slightly sarcastic--maybe a little devious. Wouldn't want to be too serious. I shall leave it up to him. If Booger wants a new name, he shall have a new name of his choosing and I shall call him by it in my blog from this day forward. It is the least I can do. (NOTE: As of the remodeling of my entries on August 1st Booger is hereby going by his otherwise Internet presence, Attrition.)
Attrition, for those of you who don't know and don't wish to backtrack, is my younger brother. He is in most ways my equal and, in many ways, my superior, but in every way he is my friend. For me, there is no "friend that is closer than a brother." I have a brother that will always be closer than any friend. I have met many people in my life, but few have loved with the fierce tenacity of this one and we have stood together through trials that would turn any ordinary folk to a quivering mass of protoplasm. He has had my back (literally) for years even when I didn't know it, often when he didn't realize it, sometimes when I didn't ask for it, and even before he was old enough to really pull it off.
Today is his birthday and he is an undisclosed number of years old. I think thirty-four...I think. Yes, I could count and all that, but I write in this blog for fun and I've been "spreadsheeting" and editing presentations all day and do not wish to be anything but my true self. Thirty-four is close enough--a sufficient number of spankings, I think, and definitely enough candles on the cake. I would love to tell you that if I were a millionaire we would be dining out at some expensive restaurant, taking in a play or concert, and maybe a vacation. No...if anything I would be taking him an extra large Caprise from Russo's Pizzeria and some beer. We'd spend the evening watching Dr. Who or WWII movies. But I am here sitting with mom after her surgery and he is there sitting with his wife who is also ill. So, rain check brother. Big, fat rain check.
Thirty-four years ago today I was taken in to see him and my first words were "what's the matter with his face?" Labor and delivery in 45 minutes after being head-down for six weeks had left him a little creased and he was a little odd-looking. But, he outgrew that. In fact, he outgrew everything. Despite the four year difference, we were thought to be twins within 5-7 years of his birth. Our family moved often and we were frequently the only kids we knew, so we were each other's playmates and fellow explorers. When mom got sick, my role shifted a little and I took care of him. Later, during times I needed him, he took care of me. It is still that way. We make music together. We play together, laugh together, plot together, kill pigs together (really long story but I just couldn't let that go since the story of Cosmo the pig came up in casual conversation about town today). We hang out together. Talk about stuff. Encourage each other. He teaches me things. I try to learn them the first time. He tries to have patience with me.
My life is good today in part because I know that no matter what, if I needed him, I could call him at any time of the day or night and he'd pick up the phone and, more than likely, show up. At the worst times I can make it because I know he's out there if I need him. He believes in me. He loves me. I don't deserve it, but he doesn't really care about that. At all. What more can you ask? Not very darn much. Compassion and love do NOT grow on trees and are to be valued more than gold or silver.
I was upset about something several months ago. I had a very difficult decision to make. Yes, I was crying. Very infuriating that crying business. We talked about the decision. He was honest about his thoughts and agreed with my approach (though, believe me, he would have said if he disagreed--I like that about him). But then there I was...simply upset with life in general. I explained that it is just my female plight that I cry about things until such time as I do not cry about things and he should go to bed. He understood that, but said something I will always treasure in both my head and my heart: "I do not like the idea that you cry and no one knows or that you fear and no one sees." I'm not sure he'll even remember saying that. But in a single sentence he summed up the hardest thing about being a single person (who is also a parent and a woman). So much of what upsets me or I fear--even what makes me happiest for that matter!--no one sees or knows. Not being known by another human being is hard and on some level, Attrition always gets that about me. It's what I appreciate about him the most. He's such an intuitive/perceptive person that I doubt he's thought of it that way, but that is the gift he's given me.
And I hope some day in some way to be able to return it.