Happy Birthday, Brother.
I don’t know where you are.
You left… several years ago, and disappeared into the vast Canadian landscape.
Yes, I know you had issues growing up in the family.
You were the baby.
You were Mom’s fav.
And you could not accept the dysfunctional life the rest of us lived.
Oh yeah, Dad was a humdinger.
A man’s man, who arrive on Ellis Island with his Mother, in the early 1900s.
The rest of his family had been wiped out by a bird, in Norway.
Yup, the bird flu.
Dad never did recover from that.
He loved Philadelphia, but moved with his Mother to Northern Minnesota.
Met Irene, got married and had 7 children.
The last : Jimmy.
There was a tug of war in the family.
An agnostic vs a strict Catholic.
An idealist vs a man struggling with chemical dependency.
Jimmy was born to be a star.
A very handsome, charismatic kid, who loved sports and went to the Little League World Series in the 60s.
When he graduated, he found a lovely girl who shared his dreams of fixing the world, and they joined the Peace Corps. Tanzania.
He wanted to stay after the tour was up.
They divorced, and Jimmy went to work for the US Government.
He was into helping.
The Government was not.
He became disillusioned, withdrawing from his friends, family and society.
He just could not live with the injustice in the world.
Yes, there are idealists.
Jimmy is one.
He left one day.
I think, to join a girl in Canada.
An old friend from grade school.
He severed his ties with the family.
And is gone.
So tonight, I would like to say Happy Birthday, Jimmy.
I think about you.
I love you.
But I doubt if we will ever connect again.
After all, we all choose a road in life.
We had issues growing up.
Some of us forgive.
Some do not.
We never forget, but most of us move on.
I think you are one of those, Jimmy, who just can’t.
I hope you are happy.
I hope you are well.
I will always be here, if you need me, but I think you probably never will.
Good night, Jimmy.
Happy Birthday, Bro.