Friday, February 03, 2006

2/3 Jimmy's birthday

My youngest brother, Jim, turns 42 today. It's impossible. Seriously.

Look at him and you'd see a big barrel of a guy, with white-blond hair. I think he's about 6'4" or so. I may be exaggerating because I'm so short he looks like a giant.

Jim's been a tow-head all his life. The bits of gray don't really show because his hair is so light.

When I look at him, though, I see this little guy whining to go with me wherever I went. I'm the oldest of nine. As the youngest, Jim is spoiled beyond comprehension. He had glasses by age two. Those black frames against the pale face and white hair made him look adorable. He was cute enough by himself, but the glasses sealed the deal.

Our father was very ill when Jimmy was small. We gave in to his incessant whining, because Mom would say, "Don't let him wake up Daddy. Take him with you." That's why he was spoiled.

I mentioned whining twice. I'm done with it. Because there was (and is) so much more to Jimmy. He has always been hilarious, and smart. For some reason he didn't want to go to college, but he's done well despite that.

When John Candy died, it was like a member of the family passed away. Jim looks so much like John Candy that we always felt "connected" to the ill-fated comedian.

All the sibs live in the Quincy area except Jim and me. I plan on returning there after retirement. Jim will never live there again, because he's found a new family in Aurora IL. He married Karen, a lovely woman who is a sister to us. Her parents have adopted Jim (not legally, but emotionally), and I don't think he'll ever leave Aurora.

Luckily Jim and Karen do visit Quincy as often as they can. But I live two hours from them and they've never come to Wisconsin. What's up with that?

I just re-read what I wrote and I noticed this is sure a disjointed entry. Just bits and pieces about Jim, and nothing really connects them. Except one thing. I love him.

Happy birthday, "little" brother.

Jim is the little kid sitting on the floor. Someone just cut and pasted him in there. When this picture was taken, it was late 1961 and Jim wasn't born until 1964. This picture was in the Quincy Herald-Whig with a small article about all of our names starting with the letter J.


Cindy said...

Happy Birthday to Jim, and it was good of Jer to say nice things about her brother. The best thing that I can say about Jim is that he has always seemed to GIVE love with all his heart. We are all blessed to have him in our lives....and I love him more for the good time he and Joe have playing PokerStars on Saturday's.

Jer said...

Cindy, I know they have a great time. On those rare occasions when I join Jim, Joe, Jay, and/or Matt, I have tons of fun too. They make me laugh. Even when I lose money.

rob said...

I've always looked at Uncle Jim as an older brother. I remember him walking me home from St. Francis one day, "talking" to some older kids who were bothering me in front of Modern Dairy. I don't remember what the kids were saying, but I'm sure it was pretty vile. (I was, after all, the only brown kid in all of the St. Francis universe at that time.) Although I don't remember it with much clarity, I remember Uncle Jim standing up for me and being ready to lay waste to a bunch of kids who looked more like giants to me back then. I hadn't a worry in the world with my Uncle Jim there.

So many great memories. So many more to come. I love you my Uncle Jim and my Aunt Karen too.

Happy Birthday!

(Great post, mom.)

Jer said...

I remember that incident, Rob. They were calling you some nasty names. Jim took care of the situation. He told me about it right away. And when he spoke, it was indeed like he was protecting his younger brother.

Jim said...

"you got to back your brothers play" No I just told them they should look out for Rob because if ANYTHING happened to him. They would be the first ones I'd be looking for.