Hijacked Blog for Your Birthday

Dear brother,

I still have access to your blog, so I hijacked it today to wish the real best half of the egg that split that made the two of us — a very happy birthday.

You can only have such a day if you

actually take a day off and do something to enjoy yourself.

I was touched that you planned to surprise me over here in Rome. I only found out about the surprise when you called me to tell me that you weren’t coming. Your caregiving calling keeps you at home while caring for your husband during another medical crisis.

I have been silent on your blog and elsewhere for reasons you understand. That experience that I had on my last volunteer assignment was too close to call. I still cry inconsolably when I think that my group was the last to get out before the camp was bombed and six of my friends and co-workers were killed.

Per your and my wife’s instructions, I have been getting help with dealing with my emotions and experience. I never realized how bad PTSD can be.

But I know that I have deep love from my wife, you, our family, and my closest friends. I will get through this with all this support, as you will get your husband through his current situation.

The door is always open for a visit at any time. Doesn’t have to be for our birthday or a holiday.

Today, I celebrate you. Your deep compassion, commitment to service, infinite patience, and exceptional faith have shown me that I could not have a better brother — in heart, mind, and spirit.

I know you have cleared your schedule this week for a “staycation.” Then when we spoke by phone last night, you told me about the backed-up household repairs and chores that you had to do.

Today is your birthday. Of all days — take off! Enjoy the warm embrace from your husband as he continues to show positive signs of recovery from the latest bout of his relapsed infection. Have fun when our sister picks you up to take you to lunch. Go for a short ride on your Harley if weather permits. Just go be you — with that big silly grin that lights up the world around you.

After all: life is short. Embrace the great life you have that is filled with love and affection.

Ore e sempre,

J