His Story

His Story

Updated and repeated, because today is his birthday and we’re kinda, sorta, really glad he’s here.

Mom’s been in my head again.
She’s bringing back a memory of lining me and sibs up on the couch to talk, to explain.
Pretty sure I was maybe ten-ish ?
I remember being in trouble for leaving Big Bro out of whatever game we were playing that day.
We hurt his feelings.
Mom had enough.

That’s the first time I heard the words, Spinal Meningitis.
In an emotional plea, Mom told us of her month old, firstborn and his confrontation with this powerful infection.
She said his cry was so piercing, his fever so high.
She mentioned a green scapular hanging on his hospital crib and nuns praying for her baby boy.
She whispered how very close she and Dad came to losing their child.

Spinal Meningitis.
For some reason, I felt the need to Google those syllables this morning.

Spinal meningitis is an infection of the fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Once infection starts, it can spread rapidly through the body. Without treatment it can cause brain damage in a matter of hours and can be fatal within 24 hours.


Sixty-six years ago, that beast entered my brother’s tiny body, but you sure wouldn’t know it by looking at the man today.
He’s the kindest soul you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet, but unless you take the time to know him,
you’ll just never know him.

He’s an extremely friendly guy who often pauses before he speaks, so he might come across as shy
& he tends to repeat things he’s most likely repeated a time or three, but once you’ve earned his awesome trust ? He can’t seem to help it, he just loves to talk.

He is a creature of habit, with the patience of a saint.
He loved his job of 40+ years and is the only person I have ever met who actually enjoys going to the dentist.
He adores sitting on his rocker in the early a.m. quiet and unconditionally hates black olives.
He softly weeps at family gatherings because his heart doesn’t know what else to do with all that love
& he’s walked an uphill battle most of his life

& that’s my point.

Every single one of us has a story.
We all have a road, we’ve all had our joys and our struggles.
But, I won’t know yours and you won’t know mine unless we take that precious time to simply try.
To see.
To acknowledge.
To understand that other somebody.


Hey, Mom?
I may not have fully absorbed what you told us way back then, but I absolutely comprehend now
& I’ll be sure to give that softie of a teddy bear a BIG BIRTHDAY HUG from his very wise, most loving advocate.