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My baby brother is officially a mid-century man. He is turning fifty. How he got there is beyond me. Nine years my junior, it seems like only yesterday when he was a toddler, crawling up and down the narrow little hall-way of our modest home in New York. He sure has come a long way since then.
I’ll never forget the day he was born. Nine years old, myself; I was in the bathroom getting ready for school when I heard my father take the fateful call in the kitchen. “I have a son”, he said. I could hear Dad’s voice quake with joy as he uttered the words. I intensely gazed into the mirror at myself and quietly muttered, “Oh s#*t, a son.” Faced with the birth of a male sibling and immediately ousted out of my position as youngest…that was a day of great transformation for me. I was officially bumped into middle-child position in my nuclear family; but that Shakespearean-soliloquy is meant for another day, another blog.
I can not say I am extremely close to my brother. Almost a decade his senior, time and space has created a gap between us that has been somewhat hard to bridge. I would have to say I admire him greatly, although from afar. The upside of that vantage point is an appreciation of the big picture of his life-experience. So here is the fraternal view from where I sit…
The half century point of my brother’s life, like any human’s, is probably one of reflection and introspection. “Does my life manifest my talents? Does my life demonstrate my contribution? Does my life embody a legacy for others to carry forward?” I believe my brother’s response to these questions would have to be a resounding “Yes”.
He went to work for IBM after graduating from Tuft’s University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. While young in his job, he completed an MBA at New York University, which launched an incredible career path. He travels all over the world, creating and sustaining vital, global business-relationships. He and his wife of many years (also a Tuft’s and NYU grad), have fantastic children with accomplishments of their own.
As if all the above weren’t enough, my brother possesses a gentle, unassuming air, a honed skill in appreciative inquiry, and a passion to pursue various hobbies and creative interests. Most of all, he embodies an awesome, entrepreneurial spirit that has remarkably inspired others.
All I can say is, “Mario, you are a great brother and although you are always “the baby”, I can authentically assert that I look up to you as a role model for how I wish I could be. Happy 50th to you!”