My mother, Nan Rodgers Bolt, died in her sleep Friday, Feb. 22, ending a long time of declining health. But this is not about her; it is about my brother.
My brother and I are about as different as two brothers can be — as could be expected of folks who are 10 years apart in age, with one a child of the 50s and another a child of the 60s.
Besides the obvious differences in our formative eras, the family circumstances surrounding our upbringings were markedly different. The fact is, he had it harder than I did.
But he has persevered. Not only did he essentially put himself through college, and then later through grad school, he has maintained a happy marriage for nearly 50 years, and created a strong, faithful family with successful children.
He very much wants to be behind the scenes, and have you barely notice him (and he’s probably going to kill me for writing this).
But I want to tell the world that this bratty, loud-mouthed little brother — whose mother once insisted that the big brother let tag along — is very proud of his big brother and wants the world to know the special kind of person he is.
He quietly copes with issues that many around him have no clue about. He does not complain. He lives his life to serve, whether it be his community, his church or — and the inspiration for this post — his family.
Our mother was an independent sort and when she became unable to take care of herself, or to live alone, she would never acknowledge, really, that either was the case. She reached a point where she did not have the kind of resources that would have made life at the end easier on her and her family.
Because of our respective situations, he was the one who ended up dealing with her situation, helping ensure her care, making sure the bills were paid, etc. — he’s the one has the skill and the MBA, after all. But it was not easy on him, either emotionally or, frankly, physically.
But he did it, willingly, because that is who he is. And it is just one major example of why his family loves him.
And it is why this little brother says, “Thank you, big brother. You are my hero.”