This past weekend, a whole lot of people gathered to honor and celebrate my brother-in-law‘s life.
I’ve known for decades that Bob was a stellar human being (one of the very best on the planet), but it was still incredible to hear that sentiment expressed over and over again. Every single speaker mentioned the very things that made me love Bob so much: his kindness and lack of judgment, the way he listened so that you felt heard and valued. His generosity and tenacity in his lifelong fight for tenants’ rights and consumer protection. How he used his sense of humor and intellect to punch up, never down. His passion for life and love for his family. His enormous heart.
I laughed and cried throughout the program.
Many comments resonated throughout, but one theme in particular spoke to me: Bob never turned cynical or stopped hoping and believing in a better world.
I felt called-out because this country’s collapse and slide into fascism while the so-called “better party” is in power has made me hugely cynical. I’ve been tempted to give up. But Bob never gave up on justice. He continued fighting for society’s vulnerable and voiceless, up until the very end of his life. If I’m to truly honor Bob’s life, I must do the same.
I love and miss you so much, Bobaloo. Rest in power, brother.
Zippy and I are in Ohio visiting my brother and his family. We spent the afternoon hunting down hoop-making materials before returning home to make four hoops of various sizes. Much hooping ensued (including my niece and I hoop-walking to the end of the street and back as her younger brother rode alongside on his scooter). Then basketball was added to the mix.
Here’s my favorite action shot of their entire family:
Lots of smiles and high-energy. A very nice day.
Today I celebrate my little brother.
Throughout the years you’ve displayed amazing hair,
a big smile,
and an even bigger heart.
Thanks for always, always laughing with me.
Happy birthday and much love to you.
Today I’m thankful for love, health, and strength,
and am beaming that gratitude back east . . .
I spilled water then.
Now? We’re bound as family.
Teapot dome scandal.
This photo hangs on the wall at my brother’s house. Here he is with the smiling Wildebeest and Zebu, many years ago. I’m not sure any of them remember the exact moment the picture was taken, but love and happiness are written all over this image. It’s no coincidence that a book’s involved.
There’s so much more to a book than just the reading.
~ Maurice Sendak
This fine photo provided by Kate Abell.
My brother showed us this cereal box the other night and we all had a good chortle. Laughing between the tears and rage.
At the end of May, Zebu graduated from high school and was one of the speakers. The ceremony was held at Red Rocks Amphitheater (coolest place ever!), but we were seated halfway up the venue so had to rely on the Jumbotron. (Aside: It was a thrill seeing Zebu and friends on the big screen.)
My older brother and his girlfriend also attended, sitting even farther from the stage. Later on, he told me he couldn’t see a whole lot of details but did notice Zebu’s red tie beneath his black gown. I reminded my bro he’d given Zebu that tie for Christmas one year (along with white gym socks), thinking that was a cool factoid. NOT. Rather than feeling warm and nostalgic, my brother panicked a bit because he had no memory of that and went into a short tailspin about getting old and forgetful. I eventually helped the silly codger to a chair and handed him a glass of milk to calm his nerves, and we laughed it off.
Fast forward to today. I just found photographic proof of the tie AND gym socks. Behold, Christmas eve 2005:
l-r: Wildebeest, Zoey, Tracy, Coco, Zebu, and Uncle Pizza.
I’m thrilled with this evidence, but am not sure whether it will soothe or further agitate my brother’s mind . . .