I am dedicating this post to my big brother Dave. We won't mention his age, but 38 years young wow.:) I am horrible about sending cards, gifts, etc. to him over the years. So Dave, here is your present....I am blogging about you. Hahaha ....nice present I know.
A little history for starters. Back to the growing up years. A first memory of Dave was him as my older brother who loved to tease me. Yes....like many older brothers he endlessly loved to tease me and my younger brother Billy it seemed. He was extremely tall at a really young age. I remember him getting stopped all the time by people in awe that in sixth grade he was already six feet tall. He was shaving in sixth grade as well, and was quite popular with all the girls at Oakridge Elementary. I think he was caught kissing in the back woods a couple of times. His rebel years started young, and fortunately ended early. His favorite thing to wear were these ugly high top vans, and an old T-shirt he wore every day.
In fact this past summer I showed up to a family event and sure enough Dave was there with gray vans and a button up shirt. He has never lost his love for vans it appears. I was happy to see him upgrade to a button up however.:)
Dave is successful at what he does, and I think it comes from his background of being a young entrepreneur. When he was 12 years old he was determined he was going to open a cookie store to rival Mrs. Fields. It was going to be called the "Better Batch". He was serious.!:) As brothers and sisters we highly encouraged his baking skills because we enjoyed the reward. He loved to bake cookies. Chocolate chip, and no back cookies were among his top picks.
I would like to take credit in thinking he is where he is today because of sibling encouragement with the cookie business:)! I am still waiting for him to open up shop. I will be the first in line. He still out cooks his sisters (well I can only speak for myself). I know I can always strike up a riveting conversation with him about the food network station. He is an avid observer.
The teenage years with Dave were definitely eventful. I was the awkward 7th grader when he was the big 9th grader. I was the want to be sophomore when he was the Senior. He was the big man on campus and I was happy to be along for the ride. His list of his high school credentials were endless so we won't even go there. Lets just say he was captain of it all.:) Goodness I had some serious shoes to follow. Good thing I just got to go along for the ride.
As cool as he was, my memories of him aren't about his glory days in high school. My memory of Dave is sitting in the Skyline High parking lot in our little Jetta that we shared. It was in the middle of some big school event, and I was in the car crying my eyes because of some unimportant, but then seemingly important dramatic high school event. All of his friends, and girlfriend were at the event, but he stuck to my side while listening and boosting me up. He was good at pep talks then, and he is good at pep talks now. He inherited that trait from our Mom. I think that is probably part of why he loves to coach little league.
His loyalty is fervent, and didn't stop in high school. I remember long talks after he got home from his mission about the love of his life (who he happily married), what he wanted to major in, and life philosophies. Often times these conversations would happen late at night at the foot of our Mom's bed, or in the family room while semi watching late night television. I have the best memories of those nights.
His devotion to family has continued over the years. I always know I can count on Dave to have a sound reasoning mind, a loyal soul, and kind word to say. It doesn't come without an occasional tease or laugh. In fact you can't help but not hear Dave, and his laugh is infectious. He has and always has had one of the loudest voices of all time. It use to get him in big trouble at school, but now usually serves him well:).
He has gotten our family through some really tough times. He was their for Dad when he was in the hospital for months on end, and he was there for Mom when she fought with heart and soul in her battle for cancer. During those dark times he knew just the right time to say something light, just the right time to simply show up. A few weeks before Mom's passing no one will forget Dave who with his crazy busy schedule showed up unannounced at the hospital with a decorated Christmas tree. He shouldered a lot of responsibility through it all, and I haven't ever told him thank you enough.
Thank you for being a wonderful brother. Thank you for teaching me through your example how to lead, how to be kind, and how to have a happy heart. This doesn't come without intensity. I think Dave might just be the most intense person I have ever know (and I have known some intense people). That has served him well, as he is good at everything that he does.
Dave.....I didn't have a chance to throw you a surprise birthday party. I didn't even have a chance to give you a big hug from clear across the country. I do want you to know how much I love you Dave. You are amazing, you are wonderful....you are simply THE BEST:)!