today is my little brother’s birthday! and to celebrate i want to tell you just a little bit about him. i can never do him justice by writing about him, actually. you really need to meet this man. still i’m gonna do what i can.
my bro is 4 years younger than me + about 40 years more wise than me in many ways. his mind, his heart, his determination, his energy, his commitment, his soul… everything about him makes me so proud to call him my brother, and my friend.
about two years ago lina (my wife) and i moved to asheville, north carolina (my home state) from sweden, where we had lived for 3 years. in that time, i had missed my family terribly. in one way my brother and i have been close, and in one way, we hadn’t. but, this move to asheville changed everything about our relationship.
we spent at least 3-4 evenings or days together every single week for about a year and a half. drinking beer, eating out, just being together. he was going through a terrible, tough time. i was living the high life, loving all of the asheville vibes, and kind of all over the place. and, while we had different things going on in our lives, we met each other exactly where we were. we needed each other. i listened to him. i leant him my big sister ear. and he encouraged me to truly, truly live life. to be authentic. to follow my heart. and to get off my ass and make shit happen. we were each other’s support. (of course i include my amazing wife in all of this too because she was a part of supporting and caring for both of us).
my brother is wise, as i eluded to before. so wise that he thinks and lives on his own terms, which is not at all to say that he is selfish. he lives on his own terms, trying to find a way to speak and live the truth in every thing he does. one night at dinner i called him a prophet. i ‘m not sure he liked that, but i secretly still think it’s true. the definition of a prophet is someone who speaks a message of truth to a community, a society, a group of people. and pretty much every prophet is rejected and misunderstood. that folks, is my brother.
however, none of us are perfect. far from it. and my brother, prophet or not, is not excluded from this. but, he is the perfect brother for me. coming from the same home, having the same + yet completely different childhood/teenage/adult experiences, we always seem to meet up in the same place. inside i believe that our souls are the same. we may live life a little bit differently from each other at times, but our love, our spirits connect always.
of course, not everything is always so serious and deep with us (i mean, a lot of times it is). but, we also channel some fun, crazy silliness that runs in our family. i will always cherish those late nights of eating burgers + drinking beer with my love and my bro in our favorite asheville spots. we laughed, we giggled, we pondered life, we questioned humanity. yes, these were special, special times.
times that i miss so very much. after a year and a half of spending so much time with my brother, there is an emptiness that lina and i both feel now that we are back in sweden, and since he has left asheville too. it’s not the same. it never will be. it was a very, very special year and a half.
fortunately…. he is planning to come and visit us in about two weeks!!! this big sister is more excited than you could ever understand!
so, little brother, the celebration of your birthday will continue once you are here. but, for today, on the day that your were born some thirty-seven years ago, and little 3 and a half year old me held you in my arms on the sofa, i send you a virtual hug across the ocean, knowing that i get to hug your neck very, very soon!
no matter what, we always have each other. we got each other. blood and love hold us together.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NICK! I LOVE YOU!
Brother, you are my guiding star
Forever, you roam, I won’t be far
I have so many things to learn from you
I was so lost until you came through
And led me through the dark
Brother, come close don’t stray away
For I know
You’ll turn and run from us some day
Like you must
We all do
I’ve been there too
If it all gets too real
I know how you feel
And I’ll be your guiding light
Världen är så stor min bror (The world is big, my brother)
Den är så skrämmande stor (It is so frighteningly big)
När det blir för tungt, min bror (When things ge too tough, my brother)
Lägger du tyngden på mig då? (Will you lay your heavy burdens on me then)
Brother, I haven’t always been near
There’s so much I’ve been through the last couple of years
You did grow
Leaps and bounds
With or without me
Here I am
Understand it’s where I want to be
I’ll follow you
My guiding star