My brother, Kyle, is three years younger than me. I call him my “younger brother” instead of my “little brother” because there is nothing little about him. He is a tall, big man. The kind of big that when I hug him, my arms can’t reach all the way around him. And his heart is as big as he is, as is his sense of humor.
When we were younger and driving down the street, we passed a church with a sign that said “…Church of Christ” except the “f” had fallen off the sign. Without missing a beat Kyle quipped “I wonder if they are chock full o’ Christ?”
He went to the same all-boys Catholic high school as me and my other brothers, but he was always getting in trouble for goofing off. He tells the story of the day in class the teacher came down on him for something, so Kyle pulls an oversized rubber knife from his backpack and starts yelling “I can’t take it anymore” and commences to stab himself. Remember, this was back in the late seventies. Anyway, the teacher did not think it was very funny and neither did the Dean of Discipline, the aptly named Mr. Rock.
Then there was the time in his college writing class, when the professor had them sit in a circle and each tell a story of something really scary that happened to them when they were children. The young lady before Kyle told the story of her and her family’s escape from Viet Nam when she was a child. She recounted the late night trip in a leaky boat with soldiers shooting at them and how they had to stay crouched down in the boat to avoid the bullets.
After this somber story it was Kyle’s turn. Having grown up in suburbia Orange County, all he could come up with was the story about the time he got lost at Disneyland. “Oh, and did I say it was really scary until my parents came and got me?”
Kyle is also my bother that donated his stem cells to me when I needed a transplant to fight off my Leukemia and stay alive. I love that guy! Like I said, he has a heart as big as he is. It is crazy to think my blood and immune system is now an identical match to Kyle’s. Thank goodness he didn’t have any allergies to be passed on to me, but I do wish I had gotten a little piece of his great sense of humor.