Thursday, January 8, 2015

A to Z: Honorable Mention for B...Brotherhood.

"You boys will love each other when you're older." Sound familiar? If I had a quarter for every time I heard that I'd be able to finally buy one of those gigantic gumballs from the mall. Because in reality, I only heard that a handful of times growing up, but it was enough to have an impact. Enough to remember. How on earth could I grow up and actually love my brothers?! What a ludicrous delusion of grandeur! How can arguing, kicking, fighting, yelling, punching, name-calling, pushing and shoving give birth to love and respect?

Turns out our elders were right. Go figure. My brothers are my best friends. I don't think there is anything we wouldn't do for each other. I think this would still be true despite the hole in our lives, but the bond wouldn't be the same. Still strong. Still dependable, but not the same.

That hole was created ten years ago when on the 15th of February 2005 we became fatherless. Very few words evoke such emotion than that word.  To be without a father at any age is upsetting. It wasn't just our father we lost. We lost our friend and hero. However, we are all grateful for the time we did have with him because during his time here on Earth, he taught us what we needed to know. He still had enough of an influence on each of us respectively despite brain cancer cutting his life short.

Since then we have partaken in several Race for Hope charity runs which raises money for brain tumor research. Most of which have been in the DC area so my brothers and my best friend come visit us the first weekend of May. Early Sunday morning of that weekend, we wake up early and head into the city where we pay tribute to our fallen hero as well as our grandmother. Also our hero. It's an emotional time because it's a tragedy the Race for Hope still exists. My hope is to never have to run that race again unless it's only to pay tribute to loved ones lost and not to raise money for a cure.

But through tragedy there's always a light. I think the bond of brotherhood grew exponentially in a spiritual sense because I think like me, my brother's used the fact that our dad is now with our Father in heaven to help deal with the loss of his physical life.

Since his death we began a tradition of a brothers' weekend. I don't know if this would have come to fruition if not for the passing of our dad. Who knows? But the core of the experience, I believe, is about...or for him. It's also for us as well. For us as Christian men. For us as brothers. A brotherhood wrapped in strong faith and a desire to do good, in whatever capacity we can, in our communities and in the world.

Mostly we've gone to a cabin in Doylesburg, but have also spent some time in the Poconos. It's a nice assortment of competitions (a huge front yard suits our needs perfectly for these), fireside chats, listening to the Phillies on the radio, music, movies, fishing, hiking and bike riding. I like to think our dad is watching us. Smiling for the men we've become.

When dad was taken away something else was given. Through sorrow...through tragedy...a spiritual seed is planted. My brothers and I have taken that seed and have harvested it time and time again through one of the most powerful things God gave the world. Brotherhood.

I have a deep appreciation and respect for my brothers. I'm proud of them for everything they have achieved and accomplished. For the Christ-like lives that they lead. I am proud to call them my friends. I am more proud to call them my brothers.

For my best friends - my brothers...I love you.

Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.

Ryan






Here are some other noteworthy Bs: 

Baseball, Books, Baseball Cards, Bono, Blogging, Back to the Future and 
Bo Jackson









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