My brother Neil and I are two years apart -- he being the younger. Like most kids, (certainly like my kids,) we fought like cats and dogs growing up. (Of course, he won't let me forget the time that I knocked him off the swing set and broke his collar bone.) As time went on, we became much closer. (Picture at right is from December, 2005 -- he's the one on the right!)
Neil visited my college and I visited his. We enjoyed some of the party life at each, such as it was.
After college, we rented an apartment together for a year or two. Soon after, he found his bride and went off to start a family.
Neil fought with his weight until late in high school or early college, when he made a decision to break with the male family tradition and lose weight. I don't really remember how he did it, but he did it and as far as I know, has maintained plus or minus 10 pounds ever since.
Since he got married, he and Sherri have raised a girl and boy. They are terrific parents and have wonderful kids. Neil started his own business shortly after marriage and is a very successful and respected businessman.
Throughout my life, regardless of where I have been or what life has brought, Neil has been there to talk through the good times and the bad. I have in my files some amazingly thoughtful and loving cards that he has written to me.
As I noted in my initial post, Neil even wrote Richard Simmons to help me find a solution to my lifelong struggle with the scale.
This past Saturday and Sunday, Neil and his son, along with my kids, rode about 15 miles on our bikes. We guessed that it had been 30 years since we've ridden bikes together.
It was a very special time. One that I look forward to repeating many times in the future.
Neil is my brother, my best friend and I love him.