Today is Patriot’s Day–the real Patriot’s Day, not the Suffolk County holiday Monday version.
Our sons became brothers on Patriot’s Day.
When our second son was born, an anonymous poem was delivered to our mailbox. The first lines alluded to his big brother’s “great dismay/that a baby was born on Patriot’s Day.”
Although I never was able to secure a confession from the author, there were at least two prominent clues to its provenance: a familial tendency towards dubious poetry, and an assumption that sibling rivalry between such closely-spaced children was bound to ensue.
It did not. These brothers have been each other’s greatest gift and closest friend. Not only have they never fought; they have never disagreed. They possess healing powers for each other. They–and sometimes they alone–can make each other laugh.
Perhaps there is something lucky in their spacing, or their DNA, or the influence of their father’s easygoing disposition, that has led to a magical yin-and-yang of very different personalities.
If they were not brothers, I hope they would have found each other as friends–the kind of friends who became brothers to my husband.
Another kind of brotherhood overwhelmed this Patriot’s Day: thousands of uniformed police officers marched silently (down the very same road on which my husband and his partner had their medical offices) to honor the police chief who was killed in the line of duty last week.
The police chief’s youngest brother also spoke. He talked about his big brother, on whose adventures he had tagged along–the classic big brother, who tried out “new holds” on his adoring younger brother as he learned them in his police work. There is nothing quite like a brother.
I was struck by how many of the police speakers at today’s service spoke of the chief not as a superior, but as part of their family.
Good police work is seen not only in service, but in solidarity–in brotherhood.
(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon