Today is my brother Phil’s birthday… and it’s a nice round one: 70. He works out every morning, plays 80 rounds of golf each year, and has the physical fitness of someone 20 years younger.
Phil didn’t want to make a big deal out of this momentous occasion despite my urging him to let us throw a party. At first, I thought maybe he just didn’t want to be the center of attention… although that’s out of character for someone who played lead guitar and sang in a rock and roll band during high school.
Of course, it could be I may have put too much pressure on him. You see, today is a really big occasion for our family. Phil is the first male on either side since 1946 to celebrate the big 7-0. The last was my mother’s grandfather, who lived to 86.
Our father’s dad passed away at 48. Our mother’s father died at 57. Our dad came up four months short, succumbing to a heart attack at 69. Our oldest brother, Ric, died of cancer at 54. During the past decade I might have mentioned to Phil – oh, about 50 times – that he needed to break the curse.
Congratulations, my brother who’s always been there for me. My money is on you soaring past 80 and seeing 90 before heading to the big bandstand in the sky. No pressure intended.