“It’s just… it’s a beautiful place.”

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Today is National Brothers Day, and I have one who is certainly worth celebrating.

Heather, look…” [turns to see him raise one pair of shades to reveal a second pair] “I’m so cool, I wear TWO sunglasses!”

My brother has always been fun and loving and caring, the “good egg” type from the get-go. When I would come home from college, he always looked out for me when it was time to “bro out”—you know someone’s A-OK when they bring double snacks before a marathon XBOX session starts.

He’s easygoing and just wants to chill.

When he’d ride with me in my zippy, zephyr blue sports car, he’d always search for sunglasses (bc that’s the ultimate symbol of a cool d00d) and ask if we could ride with the sunroof open. And we’d just cruise.

I’d play him songs everyone should know: Don’t Stop Believing, Sweet Caroline, Love Shack, 1999, Celebration, Stayin’ Alive, Jump Around, Tootsie Roll, Livin’ On A Prayer… and we’d cruise and jam.

He opened a previously-unknown reservoir of love that made me a better person.

Having him in my life has reminded me of the importance of being kind and patient, of teaching and leading, and of making connections with people.

Now, he’s taller than I am and about to be in high school, but his spirit and personality persist. He’s still sweet to his sister, even though he can dunk and puts fools to shame on the gridiron.

He is a constant reminder to me, having watched him from Day 1, of what was, what is, and what can be. And, also, what always will be.

During one of our cruises, we had been quiet for a bit, enjoying the music. It was a welcome break from law school for me, and I was soaking up the Bro Time.

The sun was streaming in through the open sunroof, along with the scents of spring. And, as usual, I was glancing over at him, watching his little 5-yr-old fingers tap to the beat. He had a little grin on his face.

I asked him what he was thinking about. He was just watching everything—birds flying over the lake, all the different trees, the clouds lazily drifting across the sky.

Then, I asked: “Bryce, what do you think about Life?”

He gave me a funny look at first. He didn’t think about life! He just lived it! That’s what I realized as soon as I asked… he was a kid; he just did Life.

But then…

He hit me with the best answer to that question I had heard to-date & has yet to be topped. He said, with a tiny shrug and a widening smile:

“I dunno. It’s just… it’s a beautiful place.

KINDERGARTEN WISDOM, Y’ALL.

That stuck in my brain, in my heart, in my guts, in my very soul

During the hardest years of my life, there was this little body with all the potential in the world, a kid who had no idea about worry or any inkling of the struggles I was dealing with. He was the welcome break from the rest of my life. Then, that little gem.

Any time I’d worry about school or get sad about my grandpa who was dying at the time, and any time I’ve gotten down since then, my brother’s sweet words appear.

Life is a beautiful place.

And mine even moreso with him in it.


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