It doesn't seem that long ago, that my brother, Jake, and I were standing in the apartments my parents owned, both of us at a stand still. I was holding onto his nose and he holding onto my hair. Neither one of us were about to give up. We even did the ol' count to three and both let go at the same time, trick. But we were so stubborn that neither of us would stop. I think my mom pleaded with us to give up. Instead we laughed and kept going. We were trying to see who would give first.
Couple years later, we stood in the living room listening to our parents decision to divorce. Both of us were shocked. For the life of me I can't remember if the following happened in true life or just unsaid between the both of us. But in my mind, I remember Jake and I locking hands and agreeing that we had each others backs.
He held up to his end of the bargain too! Always checking in on me. Always sticking up for me. As a teen, he was definitely my confidant. Jake was and still is my cheerleader.
He was even my protector! One of my most treasured memories of Jake, was when he bravely went up to a guy, 3 years older then him and punched him straight in the face. That guy had taken advantage of a moment backstage, during a rehearsal, and did some inappropriate things. I didn't tell anyone else, but Jake.
My brother is incredibly smart. He just is. In December he will graduate as a Nurse Anesthetist. He would humbly shrug it off, as not a big deal. But I think it is. I am proud of him.
He's also a husband and father to my niece and nephew. He chose beautifully when he picked his wife, finding someone that would compliment him and even push him a bit. When they became parents, a fierce love came out of him as he held his daughter and recently his new son!
Which brings me back to that stubbornness I witnessed as a kid. It turned into determination.
At 29, he's an awesome nurse, a soon to be nurse anesthetist, a sweet husband to his wife, and a dedicated father. He is accomplishing all that he has set out to do!
Happy Birthday Jake!