Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Big Brother

Monday morning my oldest brother passed away. That's him holding me in the photo. I have another brother but he is only 2 years older. Bruce was 18 years older so he was my big brother. He worked as a fireman and a truck driver. He had a private pilot's license and owned his own light plane, several of them actually, one at a time. Bruce did lots of neat things for me when I was growing up. He took me up in his plane. He took me to NYC the first time I went there. We went to the Empire State Building. He was an avid waterskier. He had his own boat on Lake Bonaparte where he rented a camp and I sometimes stayed with him there in the summer. He taught me to waterski there and in the process taught me an important part of his philosophy. When I'd fail and complain that I couldn't do it he always said "There's no such thing as can't". He'd explain what I was doing wrong and get me to try again. His "can do" philosophy has served me well and perhaps fittingly I spent Monday climbing Whiteface Mt. with a good friend who was completing his last climb of the Adirondack 46 High Peaks. My friend had begun the quest based on my encouragement, a quest I completed 15 years ago but might never have finished myself had Bruce not helped me believe I could do whatever I wanted to to do. Although we were not close in later years with many miles between us, I will miss my big brother.