Lives Unlived

I had the rare pleasure of a conversation with my baby brother tonight. He called to ask what the boys might want for [their birthdays].

I spent an hour on the phone with him talking about his life, my life, and what’s going on. It was great.

For those who didn’t read the Grandpa post – I’m gaga in love with my family. We’re weird, dysfunctional, and sometimes drenched in Scotch (Scotch, right? Some are Guiness, vodka… we span the globe). Also musicians. Lyricists, singers, and songwriters.

Artists. Carnies. You know the type. But also businesspeople and diplomats. You also know the type. We’re every family everywhere, with perhaps a little more color. We’re the freak-show made good.

Baby-brother is now a soon-to-be college graduate, family man, master of five dogs, and music producer in LA. He’s writing his own music, too. Soon to be seen on MySpace and the other networking sites. Wow.

I used to sing, and those dreams died hard. I was pretty good, once. Now my mezzo is a baritone, but I could be tempted again by a baby brother with a dream…

Which reminds me of another day…

When I was seven, oldest brother was desperately trying to hold the family together after the death of the middle brother. There was one time when littlest brother felt strong, and rolled oldest brother down the stairs. Oldest brother let him.

We watched him fall.

Baby-brother was everybody’s baby. At two years old, he’d kissed the girl, won all the hearts, and made us all feel better. He was the blond and blue-eyed wunderkind, and we were so proud.

And Big Brother took the fall.

Big brother continued to take the fall for years – none of us ever knew it was happening, though.

Big Brother took the fall forever – he thought of it as his job. He still does it.

Not baby-brother’s fault, by any means. He shouldn’t have ever known. Baby brother was someone we had in common, someone we all could love. He was our common purpose, and a good reason to go on.

What pressure to put on a child. And Big Brother took the heat, with no complaint. (Well, he complained a lot, just not about that.)

I love both of my  brothers tonight. Little Brother, who is making his dreams happen in a way I didn’t have the courage to do, and Big Brother, holding it together in a way I’m not sure I could manage.

Tonight I am again proud of my funny little family.

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2 responses to “Lives Unlived

  1. You need to write this story.

    Alter the details whatever way you think is necessary, but write the story.

  2. Wow, Bock. That means a lot. I’m actually working on it – got a whole chapter! – but it means something to have a stranger (?) say it’s interesting..

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