Families are unique vehicles in which we get to grow up in as we travel the paths of our lives.
My older brother Randy has been a person that I have looked up to with his success in the editing world having worked as editor on such shows as Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. And he also helped with Once upon a Tree which was a show that had muppets in it that helped to communicate life lessons for children. And he helps edit educational shows for Medtronics on advances in the health field.
In a way I am following my brother's footsteps into the realm of media as I help to produce a television show on restaurants and destinations called CT Perspective TV. I get to qualify many restaurants that are on our show by learning about them and bringing them to the producer's attention and also assist with the production work by providing close captioning for our viewers. I find it fascinating about how the story can be created with the interaction of images, sounds and people. And the shows end up being lively, educational and entertaining. I definitely can see where my brother has found his passion in the editing and video production world.
Randy has always loved cats and has had them for long times in his life. As a child, he had Twinkie, a yellow and black calico cat that was with us until she vanished mysteriously.
Also when I was 9 or so, Randy would assist the youth sports league that the Henry Viscardi School had for those who were physically challenged. He always got great satisfaction in serving in that capacity. And whenever I would visit my brother and his family in Minnesota, Sammy, one of his siamese cats, occasionally jumps up on my lap and I was able to stroke his fur and hearing the purring underneath the chin. That was when he had the courage to come out from under the chairs. And his cats loved to climb on the kitty condo and I got to pet them there also.
Randy has a love for astronomy and while growing up, he had a telescope that I looked at a few times at the sky. It illuminated and enlarged some of the planets and stars. In Maine, we had a chance to look at some of the stars with our naked eyes from our cottage deck.
My dad, brother and I did have a chance to get a way for 4 days on the Victory Chimes in Maine and we had the chance to share our lives together while listening to the stories being told by others and hearing the guitar music being strummed while on the deck. And to eat the home cooked meals down in the dining area right next to the kitchen.
Randy also loved speaking French and for a while growing up, I had several key phrases that one could say in French in a booklet that he helped to create. And even some books in French for vocabulary and verb usage. My fluency and capacity never took off past a few words or phrases.
But it was fun and I still remember trying to say something in French in the backyard in Fairfield.
He also played the guitar while he went to high school and played a little while thereafter.
One of my favorite roles that I have been given as the younger brother in my family is as Uncle.
14 years ago, I became Uncle when Abby entered our family. Randy has always been with her arranging to be at home while her mom worked and then switching the roles later on. Mom, Dad and I made many visits during the initial years when Abby was born and we would take walks and watch her grow up and spend quality time together. And now during her visits, I get to hear her advancing in her studies with Japanese and her clarinet. And Abby blessed us with my dad's service a few years ago with a portion of "Ode to Joy." Abby helped my dad water the flowers with the watering pot in Arizona.
At times, distance can be a challenge with not being able to hop on over to the next street as a lot of families have but we have those times in the summer or during holiday that we get together and gives us opportunities to remember the paths in the past and it always is good to be able to hear and share stories while looking out at the vast expanse of sea before us.
And I have grown to realize lately that brothers can exist outside of bloodlines and have found that true to be in my church family where I can communicate and share my dreams and ambitions. But for any family to function well, hearts need to be open and I need to open mine more so that I can be more effective in entwining stories from the past to make them more vivid and to come alive.
And I have taken that step in a way as I serve as a big brother to my friend, Gary, from the Kennedy Center. And God has taught me many of the family lessons growing up of sharing, of being there for each other and caring.
I have learned while being with family that we all have gifts and talents to share and it is great how we all as family can make this world a better place and it has been good to take the time to share the blessings and memories with each other while we are still together.
I just attended a service for someone in the community that passed on recently and I knew Coach Teatreau but not his wife, Rowena who passed on. But I knew Coach and wanted to support him. At least, I did not get lost getting to this event but was a few minutes late having gone down the wrong side of the street. His family talked a lot about memories growing up and having those conversations that bind families together. And when I saw Coach Teatreau's son, Mike and his wife, I shook Mike's hand. Mike and his wife rescued me when I was a little lost in Fairfield during the night a few years back while trying to get to a function for the Fairfield Arts Council at one of the beach pavilions and came along and brought me to it.
And as I passed them today as they were leaving the service, that memory crossed our paths.
So as it is in that Irish Blessing,
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of your hands.