I was trying to decide what to write for my brother Phillip who is celebrating his birthday today. First, I thought I might talk about the time he and his friends were jumping off the hood of my father’s Valiant and I decided to jump off as well and landed on my face. But when I reminded Phillip of this story, he sheepishly said “Um…Maryann…I don’t think you jumped.” So that wouldn’t be a very nice story would it?
Then I thought I might tell the story of the day he trashed Carole’s room and I got in trouble for it. He didn’t admit this until about 15 years ago, but telling that story would sort of sound like sour grapes, wouldn’t it?
Phillip and I fought like cats and dogs all through our childhood. Carole tells the story of the three of us in the back of our Volkswagon van – Carole in between Phillip and me – and the two of us shooting birds at each other. Two handed birds, I might mention – we really meant it!
Then Phillip left for college. I cried like a baby. And he’s been pretty much my favorite person ever since.
My favorite memory of my teen-age years was the summer Phillip and I drove together up to Nags Head, NC for a family reunion. We listened to music all the way up there, and talked, and when we got close to the conference center, we thought we were lost. We stopped at a phone booth and called, and it turned out that we were right across the street from where we were supposed to be. We could see everyone waving at us (and laughing probably). It was probably the first time we had spent an extended amount of time together without fighting, and it was delightful.
These days, Phillip is living in Knoxville, and I don’t get to see him nearly enough. He has three amazing daughters, who I love very much, and a wonderful wife who I love as well. Phillip’s probably the smartest person I know, and probably also the funniest person I know. Here’s wishing him the best birthday ever.
I love you Phillip – you’re the best big brother anyone could ever ask for – in spite of the plastic ants on top of my jello salad!