Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday Friends: Rob

This is my brother. Yes, ladies, he is available. Since that's generally the first question I am asked I figured we'll just get that one out of the way. And no, you cannot start swooning over how hot & hunky he is. I'm his sister. That's just gross. Also, you should know that his hair is a lot more gray than this picture shows. Not that it will make a difference to you...

Where our friendship began:
I was 15 months old; he was a newborn who never stopped crying. I tried to help by force feeding him baby asprin. I made it through most of the bottle before our mom walked in and put an end to my early career in medicine.

What we survived:
Numerous--and I mean, numerous--episodes of conning Rob into eating various forms of mud "edibles." It just never got old. "I don't wanna eat that chocolate pudding! It's mud again, just like the last time" "Oh Bobby, it is not. I already pulled that joke on you--why would I think you'd be stupid enough to fall for it again? Trust me--this time it's just plain chocolate pudding." "Okay, fine...MOM!!!!! Wendy made me eat mud again!!!!"
It should be noted, however, that the eating poop thing was all him. I had nothing to do with that.

--setting the irrigation sprinklers on our sisters when they slept out in the fields
--making chocolate covered insects to bring to church youth activities
--digging forts in the front yard
--writing elaborate and detailed notes back and forth during General Conference, summarizing which teens in our circle had crushes on each other. I recently found a stack of those notes...ah, good times, good times.

Why I like this guy:
--he's a great dad (PS--aren't his kids beautiful? They take after their mother, obviously).
--he has a brilliant mind and a wicked sense of humor
--he's a great brother. He's there for me.
--he holds himself to a high standard, yet has the utmost tolerance and acceptance of others.

What I've learned from him:
To be nice. Maybe it's a side effect from being picked on so much when he was younger, but Rob has a very compassionate heart. He doesn't judge others. When he knows someone is in trouble, he just jumps in and helps. When someone needs something, he gives it to them. I've never, ever seen him pass a homeless person by without stopping to chat & pull out his wallet. In the process, he manages somehow to invest the act of charity with dignity and respect that probably means far more to the person than the few dollars he gave away. When I once complained about not trusting that money I gave to charity would be used appropriately, Rob quietly disagreed. "I just give the money," he said. "It's on their heads if they waste it or misuse it. My responsibility is to share what I've been blessed with. So I do."

In that respect, Rob has changed me. Now I write out my donation checks and seal the envelope with a grateful heart for everything I've been given. When I see someone holding a cardboard sign by the side of the road, I try to stop & share whatever I can. Even more, I look them in the eyes. I tell them my name. I try to see the person behind the unwashed clothes and weather-beaten skin. I try to treat them the way Rob would.

I'm the older one, and I'll probably never let him forget it. But when it comes to matters of the heart, there's no question which of us is the bigger one.


Sher said...

Made me get teary-eyed. SO glad you and Rob are friends. Thats what I always told you - treat each other as you would treat your best friends AND you were best friends in heaven. LOVE YOU!!!

Jenny said...

Found your blog through my sister-in-law Kathryn's. Where does your brother live? Just curious as I have an amazing friend who's single with two kids. She recently joined the church. Amazing! :) My name's Jenny by the way. Thanks!