I remember Brad’s cologne and other things he smelled like, Marlbolo Reds and beer. But please don’t judge him because he reeked of his vices. At least I never did, and maybe that’s because I was a child.

I have to admit I came to love those smells and wish for them. It was rare for my brother to visit us, if we were lucky, once a year. Whenever I learned he was coming, I knew our house would soon feel different. It would fill up with wild delight and the thrill of unexpected happenings.

Brad’s whimsical nature required that he reinvent most ordinary situations. For instance, something as simple as wrapping a Christmas gift soon became an adventure in seeking out the most ridiculous thing in the basement he could wrap it in.

One year he found an old step stool in the basement. I giggled as he wrestled with the wrapping paper trying to cover the stool legs. The legs kept popping holes through the paper. By the time he was finished, he had used an entire roll of tape. The wrapped present looked like a crumpled up, mangled origami bird, but Brad sat grinning at his masterpiece. The finished product was everything he had hoped for.

I remember one Christmas sitting by the fire with Brad. My dad’s Frank Sinatra record played in the background. Luck be a Lady started playing. It was my favorite song on the record. I started snapping my fingers, swaying my body, and singing along. Brad started singing, and I remembered that he had a wonderful voice. I recalled when he had once proudly shown me pictures from a community play he had been in. It was from a time in his life when things were going well for him.

Soon my brother was up from the couch holding out his hand to me. I never stopped smiling as we danced, and he sang and twirled me in and out. I knew right there I would never forget the love and adoration I had for him. I would keep the feeling close, so one day I could remember him.

2 thoughts on “Brad”

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your brother. You did an excellent job of helping us know a snapshot of him through your description of his actions.

    Liked by 1 person

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