Bubby

Well…it’s Tuesday.

Tuesday is usually such a terrible day.  Monday is barely over, and you still have 3 whole days left of your godforsaken workweek.  In my opinion, Tuesday ranks second only to Thursday as the suckiest day of the week.  Thursday takes the cake due to its proximity to Friday.  Because just as a bodyguard, one must get through Thursday to get to Friday.  Nothing good ever happens on a Thursday…it is a useless day.

But I digress.  While most Tuesdays delve deep into “sucktitude,” this Tuesday is joyous.  For today is the 29th birthday of my dear brother, Chris.

Christopher Ryan Leonard was born on January 26th, 1981 in a little hospital in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  It is actually the same hospital that I was born in, making my brother and I the two greatest men to have ever been birthed in Pine Bluff.  Don’t believe me?  Go visit sometime.  Right in front of City Hall, there is a statue of my brother and I…essentially a sculpture of myself kneeling whilst my gaze is held by something on the distant horizon.  Behind me, my brother stands tall, triumphant.  His gaze is also held by something on the horizon.  The symbolism of the statue is obvious.  Although the town of Pine Bluff bore us, our destinies shall lead us to greater, perhaps undiscovered worlds, both physically and metaphorically.

The inscription on the side conveys a similar, powerful message:

“Pine Bluff…Birthplace of Kings”

I haven’t said this enough on here, but I absolutely adore my family.  I drew an unbeatable hand.  My father is the greatest, most genuine, one of a kind, absolutely hilarious man this planet has ever known.  There has never been a better father.

If you speak to any of my friends, they will tell you how nice of a mother I have.  To this, my usual response would be “Yeah, but you don’t see her when she is pissed off,” but in actuality, they are right.  My mother’s heart is so full of compassion and kindness, that it almost pours out of her when she speaks.  I can say, without hesitation, that she is the kindest woman I have ever met, and there has never been a better mother.

Then, there is my brother.

When I was very little, I couldn’t say the name “Christopher” because my tiny lips and tongue prevented me from doing so.  So, I instead attempted to say the word “brother,” which of course came out sounding like “Bubby.”  This is the name I will always associate with my brother.  Calling him “Chris” sounds so unnatural to me that I can never see myself doing so.

My brother is five years my senior, and if not for him, I would have had a very different childhood.  For the record, I would not change a single second of my childhood.  I am grateful that I had him to help me get a grip on the different things that happened to me growing up.  It was nice to be able to bounce smart/dumb ideas off of him.  Don’t worry, he returns the volley right back to me.  Any bump in the road that either of us encountered only seemed to strengthen our brotherly bond, and brought us closer together.

The “statue in Pine Bluff” thing has been a running joke between my brother and I for the better part of a decade and is one of many inside jokes that we share.  Believe me, that isn’t the only one.  But some have more “F” words in them…

The fact is that my brother is a great person whom I have looked up to for my entire life.  He has known me as long as anyone on this earth has, and still gives me unconditional love and support.  He is also not afraid to tell it to me “like it is” or give me a nice thump in the scrotum if I get too “uppity,” but I have always felt like he is proud of me.  He is as kind as he is successful, and as funny as he is awesome, and when June 5 rolls around, I will be honored to have him at my side as I marry the girl of my dreams.  But today, he is my brother …and there has never been, nor will their ever be, a better one.

I love my brother, and today is his birthday.

Happy Birthday, dude.

Till we meet again,

JL

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