for my brother

May 31, 2009 by

today is my little brother’s college graduation party. we’re going to give speeches to honor his achievement. i figured i’d share the speech i’m giving :)

There’s a lot that I can say about my little brother. Most obviously, he’s not so little. So he’s pretty much always had the upper hand in our wrestling matches as kids. Which has meant that I’ve always had to fight dirty. Nowadays, his wrestling expertise has translated well. Elias looks forward to Uncle Bob’s big strong muscles to throw him all over the couch. Growing up, even though Bob was always stronger than me, I still always felt like I needed to protect him. I always just wanted to love him and stick up for him and let him know I thought he was awesome regardless. And I still feel that same way today. There were always times when I wondered if my brother would turn out alright, having to fight as hard as he did for respect, for justice, for a chance. And despite all the people who didn’t give him a chance, we all fought hard for him, and to this day, my brother has never let people, or objections, or stereotypes, or opinions stand in his way. I respect that he’s never been defeated and I admire that he’s never cared what people think. He has a distinct ability to be honest and be forthright while still endearing himself to others.

Bobby has always been an easy kid to love. Maybe it’s those blue eyes. Maybe it’s his sense of humor or wit. Maybe it’s because he’s good looking or athletic or a snappy dresser. I tend to think it’s his heart. He was always the boy who stuck up for other kids. He was always the one other kids admired and wanted to be. He was the kid who could get a black belt in karate, and excel at every other sport he played, all 327 of them. That is still true today. Not just that he’s athletic, but that other people want to be him and admire him. And that’s a powerful thing. Bob knows how to capitalize on his strengths and make them work for him. He’s taken his personality and intelligence and fashioned it into a successful career. He’s articulate, and he’s really intelligent. I’ve always been impressed at his brain’s capacity to retain information. It’s always been like that, too. When we were little his brain was so full of baseball and hockey statistics, he could barely remember all the words to his favorite Michael Jackson songs ;)

And even if he still teases everyone, and tickles us mercilessly, and pokes at us like he’s 5, I still think he’s great. He always makes me laugh, and he always is there to help. He’s a goofball, an entrepreneur, a businessman, a sports enthusiast, a boyfriend, a brother, a son, an uncle, and a now- a college graduate. He’s all those things and a whole lot more. My prayer for my brother is that he continues to challenge himself- that he’d never feel satisfied to stay where he’s at. That he’d continue to strive to excel at everything he does.

Bob- you’re all grown now. I’ve loved you through bowl cuts and hammer pants. I’ve loved you through your gangster phase, your skateboarder phase, and your preppie phase. And I’ve seen you evolve into a loving, thoughtful responsible, motivated person. It makes me so proud to have a brother my kids can look up to. I’m proud that you’ve been such an interested and engaged student. I’m proud that you took college seriously, and that you did well. But I’m not surprised. I have always known that you wouldn’t be the kid who just had potential, but that you’d realize your potential and exceed expectations. As you graduate college, know that I love you, I respect you, and I think that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. I am proud of the man you are today, and I am blessed to have you as a brother.

Congratulations, B.

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  1. Nick

    This is sweet. Bobby will like this for sure.