Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Gary!

Today is my little brother's birthday!  Gary is two years younger than me.  And I've always loved him and been proud of him.  I also may have "mothered" him to death.  (For some reason, he called that being "bossy.")   Of course, as we went through our teen years, we may have had a few conflicts.  I objected to having to take him to work in my car, using my gas before he had a driver's license, so mom made him cough up gas money.  I honestly don't remember a time that he didn't have a job.  He went to work at a young age--Dad took his sons to work with him, teaching them a good work ethic.  I also tormented him when taking him to school.  My car horn had a bad habit of honking when I turned left.  So I insisted on dropping him off by his friends at junior high--at the left turn.  And I'd wave and yell "goodbye" as he got out of the car.  I like to think I helped build his character.  I also helped him write his campaign speech for class president...but I never would have run myself.  He and his friends called me the Gestapo when I was stage director for our musical (yeah...the director should have known better than to give me that much power!).  But actually...I've loved that guy all his life.  

I used to go to the church nursery and ask for my baby brother.  They never gave him to me.  It may have been because I couldn't even see over the Dutch door.

You only have to look at these photos of a young Gary to know he was destined for greatness! He always insisted on dressing this way, mom says.

Matt was Gary's first nephew.  And from the time Matt was born, Gary became very intentional about investing in each of his nieces and nephews. 

And he continues that tradition...

with ALL of my kids.

And with Sandra's kids.

His great-nieces and great-nephews love Uncle Gary!  And they can name each of his dogs.  He's made big deposits in their lives.  He reminds me so much of my dad.  He loves people and loves life and wants to enjoy it with those he loves.
And it's not just family who knows Uncle Gary.  As he began teaching at WTAMU, he was walking across campus and heard, "Uncle Gary!"  He turned and saw a good friend of one of his nieces.  

And, of course, Amy, his wife, has always encouraged Gary's relationships with his family...she's the best decision he ever made!

Gary loves woodwork, which he learned from our dad.  He made me this Little Free Library which my grandkids have loved! 

And he makes beautiful pens.  This is the fountain pen he made for me recently.  He's also gotten a nephew involved in making them.

This is "just" my little brother.  But he's a great man.  He'd be embarrassed if I told you about all of his greatnesses--like being Senior Vice President and General Counsel for El Paso Electric and named as one of their top employees.  Actually, we probably have no idea about all of his accomplishments--because he never talks about himself.   He's currently a professor of business law at West Texas A&M in Canyon.  I won't tell you all about that, but you can read about it here.  

(And that kind of reminds me of the time when I promised I wouldn't tell on him...but wrote a note to mom instead.  Only in an effort to protect him, mind you.)  
It really is amazing he likes me.

I love you...and am so very, very proud of you!
Always have been.

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