Today my little brother, Tnerb, is sixty-three. He’s been a fuss-budget for sixty-two of those years. He looks like Lavell Edwards and really should set aside enough money to have his jeans especially tailored to accommodate his cheekless behind. Other than that, he’s fairly perfect. Wait. Here’s another thing. It is really easy to make him cry. Aside from this list of things, he’s pretty perfect. On Thanksgiving, I was particularly grateful that he was willing to hand-wash all the dishes notwithstanding that he had recently gone through surgery to remove one of his kidneys. It’s one of his signature activities. Not the surgery. The washing. He is a neat freak.
Brent and I go way back. I taught him a gay, merry little tune for the poem, “If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood would a wood chuck chuck?” that brought him nothing but scorn and derision from his heartless little Kindergarten buddies. I should have been sorry. Perhaps I was too young. But I did teach him something about the world. I’m sure he’s grateful.
After his surgery, he was dutifully doing his “walkies” around the hospital floor and mentioned that it was the “cancer” ward. My heart froze. I didn’t like the word. What would I do without this man? He had had one of those pesky, painful kidney stones and apparently during the scan to check it out, the noticed the cancer. And as we all have figured out, we only need on kidney, we lucky us, Brent, has emerged almost unscathed. A kidney and a few pounds lighter. This was a case where likely had it gone unnoticed, he would not have lasted a year. A little stone and some more years with us and the beautiful Millie.
I choose to think that such serendipity is actually part of the plan to give us more of what we really need and want. I thank God for Brent this year.