Friday, March 7, 2008

Spreading joy with kindness/ a tribute to my brother on his birthday

As I completed the cryptogram for today, I thought of my "little" brother. Today is his birthday, and this quote from Washington Irving describes him very well. "A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles." 

This is an apt description Larry Muirhead, who is 59 years old today, the youngest in a family of six children. 59? It hardly seems possible. His eternal optimism, adventurous spirit, kind and generous heart, and ever-ready sense of humor make him seem much younger. Yet, he often reveals the wisdom of a much older man. 

A kind heart, indeed. If Larry hears that someone needs help, maybe something heavy that needs moved, a piece of machinery broken down, or a major farming or ranching job scheduled at his brother's place, he will show up, unannounced, with his pickup truck, tools, and muscle power, ready to pitch in and get the job done. He may unexpectedly drop off a load of firewood to a sister who hasn't had a chance to get out and gather her own. He may come by to haul off a load of shingles tossed down from a re-roofing of another sibling's house. 

Whenever and where ever we see him, his bright smile warms our hearts. Together with his wife, Sharon, who is the epitome of kind-heartedness and generosity, they will bring food to the bereaved, fix a meal and share it with the lonely, invite a friend or loved one to share one of their many "road trips" to explore the wonders of the world they live in. 

The proud grandfather of twin girls, Larry dotes on the toddlers with nurturing kindness, showing them the wonders of their world, teaching them new skills, and protecting them from harm. He sets a worthy example in optimism, appreciation, and goodness for old and young alike. 

I was almost seven when Larry was born, and I was thrilled to have this beautiful baby in my life. Now, 59 years later, I realize, more than ever, what a gift to humankind was brought into the world that day, and I'm thankful. 

Larry, you freshen my life with smiles every time I hear from you, receive a picture of new places you've seen, new poses of your granddaughters, and each time I remember all the good times we have shared. I look forward to many more years of the same. 


Janet Grace Riehl said...

Isn't a good brother just God's Gift? Yours is a younger brother, mine is an older brother, Gary Thompson. He is an Eagle Scout who keeps on earning those merit badges. He's such a support to me in my life, and I'm so grateful for his brotherly love, as I see you are for your brother's love as well.

Janet Riehl

StaceyKannenberg said...

Larry, Happy Birthday!!
If only we had more Larry's in this world spreading kindness and joy!