When I was a little kid I had a lot of trouble speaking and I can remember being in the shower one night after school and my brother was sitting on the bathroom counter trying to help me pronounce a word. For the life of me I can't remember what the word was but I remember that once I had pronounced it correctly he was cheering and ran to tell my father and mother that I could say the word.
My brother is also the one that got me to love trail running. Each summer our family would head to upstate Vermont and stay in a cabin on Harveys Lake. My brother and I were old enough to go exploring on our own and would head to a mountain about a mile from the house. My brother was more interested in the animals and nature where I was the one wanting to get to the summit as fast as we could. When you're a kid you don't realize how rare and how great those moments are.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes my brother was an alter server and was at church as I headed to the hospital. After they diagnosed me they told my father and I that I would be heading to Rhode Island hospital to learn about diabetes and how to take care of myself. As I was being wheeled out to the ambulance the nurse in a cheerful voice said "Someone very special is waiting for you in the ambulance!!" I was very tired and weak but once I heard that I jumped up and said "It's Jimmy!!" At that time the door opened and there was a six foot man in an easter bunny costume holding a coloring book and a box of crayons. That was a week before Easter and I was eight, I have disliked the Easter Bunny ever since!!
As time passed my brother and I grew further and further apart, I never lost my love or respect for my brother but I was the jock and he was the brainy kid that did exceptionally well at school. We went our separate ways and lost contact but when he went to Dartmouth for under grad and then off to Yale for grad school I was so proud. In 2013 when I ran the 2013 NYC Marathon he was the one to give me a place to stay for the weekend, he was the one that would take Leanne and her brother all over the city so they could see me as I ran. He was the one at the finish that I hugged with tears in my eyes, and in true brother fashion he said "I know a great pizza place near by with some great beer" As we sat in NYC eating pizza and having a beer it felt like we were kids again sitting in Pizza Hut on a Friday night with our father. (That sounds odd but we were having soda when we were kids, not beer. If I had my brother check this over he would fix the wording)
The thing is he has believed in me since the day I was born. Mile 2 is going to be full of memories that my brother and I have made. It will also be filled with thoughts of the memories he will create with "Minnie and Sharky" Not only is he one of the best brothers anyone could ask for he is one of the best uncles anyone could ask for!!