When our brother Pat suggested the six brothers collaborate and write a book based on random recollections of our experiences growing up, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And certainly didn’t anticipate learning anything new about my brothers. When it was suggested that we each write 10 stories, I thought that might be a stretch.
I wondered what the theme of the book would become. Stories that poked fun at each other? Stories that revealed a crazy sense of humor? Confessions of deeds better-kept secret? And could we even come up with ten stories each? I assumed some of the stories would include our parents but didn’t expect the level of respect and love for them each brother went to great lengths to share. The book, and our lives, are a true testament for just how special they were. Is it rare that we six are all still friends and good friends at that? I may be biased but I think we are genuinely good people. Our morals are solid. Our respect for God, family, and country are unshakable. These attributes can be traced directly to how we were raised by mom and dad.
Going into this project we each thought we knew our brothers. I know I didn’t expect to learn anything new. After all, being the oldest, I was the only one who could claim that I was there for each of their entire lives…… As is often the case, how wrong I was. The ten-story goal did turn out to be a challenge, but only because it was hard to decide which ten stories to share. We have lived full lives for sure. And, admittedly, some stories are probably not appropriate for a “family” book – those will have to wait for volume two. We have led different lives and that is apparent in our writings, both style, and content. But I think there is a commonality in our sharings, it's clear we each have a love for family and each other.
One unexpected outcome from this effort is a newfound desire to learn more about my brothers. I know there is so much I missed, and these stories reveal glimpses of some pretty entertaining guys. Unlike our friends, we don’t choose our brothers. In our case though, I can’t imagine not having any of the five as my brothers. And I would also choose each one of them as my friends. Sure, we still argue, and at times a disagreement might create some distance, but it never lasts and that is the beauty of being family.
I hope as you read through this compilation of happy, sad, embarrassing, thankful, blessed times of our lives, you will also get a glimpse of just what a great job Tom and Betty, our parents, did to set us on the right course. God truly blessed us.
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