My brother showed me how to be a friend. Even though he was four years older than me, he let his annoying little brother follow him around. (It probably helped that we lived in a town so small that there weren't many kids his age for him to play with, but I really don't think that would have mattered much.)
|Here the two of us are posing in front of a tree on Arbor Day. (I think.)|
He helped instill in me a love for sports. We've watched, played, and talked about many a game over the years.
He taught me how to lose gracefully-ish. (Because it was very rare that I would ever beat him at anything.)
|Wrestling with my brother. (I'm the one in a headlock.)|
He has always been a great example to me.
|Didn't I just say he was a great example? So why isn't he wearing a life jacket?|
He greatly influenced my taste in music when he purchased those 8-track tapes of the Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, and Styx. (Even though he now seems to prefer listening to country music. Country music? Really???)
He helped mold my sense of humor into the warped lunacy that it is today.
|Here we are with my sister. She's pretty darn awesome, too!|
(Gee, we sure took a lot of pictures on Arbor Day, didn't we?)
He showed me how to be a good husband and a good father.
|My brother on his wedding day. (And me auditioning for Napoleon Dynamite.)|
Since my Dad passed away shortly before I got married, he has filled the double role of being an uncle and a substitute grandpa to my kids. In fact, he showers my kids with so much love that they know him by two different names, Uncle John and Uncle Baby-Hog.
He's always there when I need him. (Even though I sometimes take him for granted.)
He taught me how to say the alphabet while I burp.
He was, is, and always will be a wonderful brother.