Today is my brother Al's birthday.
He was the first child born to my parents, and it would be 16 years before the eighth and last child, (me) was born. Suffice to say, we grew up in different families. Still, because life can be a ridiculous sandwhich of the unexpected, His children and mine were born within years of each other.
Al and his family live in Uganda so cousin times are crammed into trips to the cottage in Ontario where they live for 6 weeks in the summer. It is through these cabin times that Al has become my friend.
Al is intelligent, skilled in the administrative, personable, and kind. He is insightful, sensitive, caring, and comfortable with vulnerability. He knows the love of God, and is in tune with His "still small voice". He has cultivated humility. Al acknowledges ugliness and injustice, and has seen and known both intimately, but he insists on the eternal goodness of God.
Over the past number of months, Al's presence has been invaluable. Ken found great comfort in his presence, as did our parents. Al has been able to use his skills amongst the living and the dying to be instrumental in working out details of a senstive nature. He has reconciled administration with humanity-- sensibility with sensitivity.
I'm glad to call Al my brother and friend.
We celebrate LIFE.