Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Friday

Today. Friday the thirteenth. July 13, 2007. Happy Birthday to my brother & my best friend.
My older brothers' birthday.
I have two brothers, one about a year and a half older than me and one about a year and a half younger.
Growing up my brothers' were my constants in life. They were my best friends. They were also, at times, my biggest enemies.
I have learned so many valuable things from them, some things that I fear would have never have just come about naturally to me...
Living in the foothills of the Appalachians about twenty years ago with my older brother & a couple of other room-mates, we found the winters to be a bit more severe than they are of years more recent. Back then, it seems, that each winter brought us freezing rain, sleet and/or snow.
I had a green 'Hess' jacket that I had acquired from a male friend, who was a mechanic. Needless to say the jacket coat was toasty warm, as it was designed for a man to be able to work outside. But it was also terribly & permanently stained with oil, oil, and more oil. I used it as I needed but as soon as I saved up enough money to be myself a more attractive & fitting womans' winter coat, I did.
The green Hess coat went into the hallway closet.
One day, my brother plucked it out. It seems he had given his leather coat to another girl who found herself in a similar situation as me... moving up from from warmer territory to this surprisingly much colder area and living without the immediate means to provide a warmer coat for herself.
For months, my brother wore this nasty, oil-stained, frayed seamed & unsnapping Hess coat. It worked. For Christmas, we headed down South to spend the days with our family. One of my brothers biggest Christmas gifts that year was a very nice winter coat. One that was lined & water resistant. One that had zippers and snaps...all working. One that had no stains & no automatic stench about it. One that wasn't frayed around the arm holes and the waist.
Being young and hungry for life, we left the family on Christmas day with plans to make it home in time to work on the 26th. Sometime in between ten and midnight Christmas night, we found ourselves quite hungry and nothing was open anywhere to eat. Driving through Atlanta, we were pleased to see that a McDonalds was open. We stop to eat.
Sitting inside eating sea kelp for burgers, I notice a homeless man stumble through the parking lot. The wind is picking up, the temperatures are dropping and the rain is beginning to slash through the nights sky.
He stumbles through the parking lot and past our car. I point him out to my brother.
He stumbles back towards our car & then opens the back door of our car. I gasp & stand up ready to bolt.
The man reaches in and plucks my brothers' brand new Christmas coat out of the backseat.
My brother watches.
'Sit back down Paiger. He's cold, hungry & homeless.'
'Yeah, but that's your brand new...'
'Yeah, well I got a roof over my head when I get home. And I still have that Hess coat. All he'll have is that coat to call home. Let it be, sister.'

19 comments:

JustRun said...

I am helping celebrate a Friday the 13th birthday, too! Nice!
And like I said on your sista's site, good reason for a party! :)

just me said...

What a wonderful, wonderful thing to read. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

SpongyBones said...

Damn your brother is one of the best men I know!

she said...

my kind of hero!

great read!

Hammer said...

What a great thing to do. The world needs more folks like that.

singleton said...

And so the story goes.....
Awwwww, I miss my bro!

Orhan Kahn said...

I was wondering where this story was going and bamm, there it is, smacks you right on your arse. Your brother is a beautiful person.

This is what I see when I think of American people - so refreshing to read. Thank you :)

Matt said...

Nice man.

eric313 said...

Good eye for a story, Skinny.

That was beautiful to read and say so much about you and what you think about, and how clearly you do. And Paiger is an awesome nickname, or term of endearment from a sibling.

singleton said...

tink!

eric313 said...

clinky tink!

skinnylittleblonde said...

JustRun~ We Love GOOD reasons to party & celebrating a B-Day on Friday the 13th is as they get! Hope you party was superfantabulous!

Justme~ Thank you for dropping in! I am a chatterbox and when I feel like the dogs aren't listening to me ramble, I start throwing stuff up here ;)

Spongy~ He really is. He is one of the best people I know. I really learned a lesson I had already learned 100x over that night...

she ~ he is an everyday hero. If he makes an error or mistake in life, like we all do, it's almost always on the side of trying to do what is right.

Hammer~ It came so natural for him. He didn't really even give it a moments notice. To him, it was a no-brainer.

Singleton~ Just got off the phone with him! Sounded gggggreat! Daily trips have stopped for the moment & physical therapy is down to 2 days a week. Our brother rocks! I miss him very much.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Orhan~ Lol...you should know I ramble on, seemingly going nowhere & sometimes in fact, just going in circles. ;) My brother is no angel, but he has a good heart & gawd, do I love him. He has been my best friend through so many things.

Matt~ He likes to party too! You guys would have fun together.

Eric ~ There are some moments in life that I tote around in the pockets of my heart & soul...because they touched me & because they enrich me, in one way or another. This is one of them.

Singleton & Eric~ Clinkity-Tink!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh. Oh. Oh, I love your brother! (Mine was nasty.)

Tai said...

Lovely. What a good memory. And what a good, wise, and compassionate brother.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Shrink~ Lol, no doubts about it, my brother can be quite nasty... but all in all, the man has wisdom beyond his experiences & compassion beyond reason.

Tai~ Funny that you say it is a good memory, just because I have never really thought too deeply about it. But when my mind ventures back there, the first thing I feel is guilt and shame... how could I have jumped up like that, gasping?

mindy said...

what a great story. your brother is a great guy!

singleton said...

tink ya baby!

Little Wing said...

Oh, Skinny! I think your brother is the real deal... just what this world needs, more like him. Yesterday my significant other chewed me out for giving "the scum of the earth" a dollar, when "he could go out and get a job like other people." This, from a man who is seemingly well-educated. Every time anyone has ever asked me for a handout, I have given. And you know what? There has not been one single solitary time when they have not said back to me, in return, "God Bless, thank you mam, God Bless you!" I'm touched every time, because I can feel, deep down, that they truly mean it, and it does become a Blessing to me. One has to say nothing, in return... certainly not to go on and on the way they always do... and the look in their eyes!!! I know, inside, that some of the stories they share, to get the money, are most likely made up... but, the fact that they even have to make up a story to get anything is enough. I am not their judge... I am just another human being walking on this earth who has seen bad times, as well, and have needed help. I'm grateful for the help that was given, and even if we can't always repay the one who gave to us, we can certainly repay by way of the Universe. We don't know what another's story might really be. We can't judge the strength of another. And it doesn't take much to look around and see that opportunity does not knock on the door for everyone, and some do not know how to look for that door to knock on. I see homeless people on a daily basis, where I live. They stroll up and down the canal where my significant other's pottery is located, and walk the streets. I can never resist running up the stairs to have a look at the canal waters, and my boyfriend is always very wary that someone will kill me. I may be ignorant, but I have no fear (even though a severed head was found, nearby, a few months ago, and god only knows how long it had been there). Each one that passes always offers a smile and a friendly comment. Everyone doesn't have a job, everyone doesn't have family, everyone doesn't have a home. But everyone has a Heart that beats and longs for all of those things. I've always wanted to know their stories. I can't help but wonder, each time one passes me by, just what their story is. Yesterday I had the crazy notion that I might like to write a book, based on those stories, and give the proceeds to those same homeless people, if possible to get it published and if it would sell. I can see, right away, that I would have a problem, with the boyfriend, who fears many things. Yesterday the guy who asked for the handout was a youth standing on the side of the road, at a stop sign. A look of desperation on his face. He said he meant me no harm, he said he would wash my car, whatever, then he pulled his shirt collar back and showed me a shunt (I think that's what you call it). He said he was a renal patient and he was trying to get the money for his treatment. I used to know someone who was on dialysis but I never saw her wearing one of those, and I realize that someone could easily apply one of those things to themselves, and their was no tape covering it, to hold it in place, just sorta hanging there (ouch!) ... and maybe he was on drugs... or maybe his mama sent him out to stand on the street... and maybe there are those who really are too sorry to even try and work... but, if they are screwing around with my head, then that is their karma, and they will, most likely, pay for it... it's nothing out of my pocket to give a few dollars, and I know I will be Blessed. And no, I don't give for the Blessing, I give out of compassion... but, as the side note, I am ALWAYS Blessed, when I do. (and regarding that severed head, I do get the heebie-geebies anywhere near that spot, and I'd never wander into that wooded area, alone).

Wow, I do love to ramble. :s