The Most Beautiful Moment of Your Life

Stop and think for a moment about the most beautiful moment of your life.

As those reading this might now, I found out about my full brother about a year ago.

Yesterday, I caught up with a friend and neighbor from high school.

I sent her the link (above) about my brother. And then I sent her the note pasted below.

My point is that I think the most beautiful thing I have ever seen is when my parents met my brother for the first time.

Here is the note:

The lost brother thing was both difficult and beautiful for my parents. While the blog was meant for updates on that story, the evolution of their relationship with the long-lost brother became so personal to my parents that I realized my blog was not giving their personal, secretive, and angst relationship to the story due respect, so I stopped my hyperactive, global, unfiltered updates.

The short of it, however, is that my brother quickly became the “missing piece” my parents longed for. Yesterday, as you know, was fathers’ day.

My brother Mike has my father’s love of sports, beer, and logic. They look a lot alike, they tell stories the same way. Mike is the athletic son my father always wanted and I never was.

Yesterday, my father, for the first time in his life, got three calls on fathers’ day. One of them lasted an hour long and largely was spent talking sports. This has made him so happy that he has a very obvious newfound sense of purpose in life.

The take-away for me (among others) is appreciating the pain they carried for so many years. My brother Mike has become part of the family with ease – there is no family get-together (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) for which he is not a full participant.

The last living member of the family that raised MIke died this year. He thought he was alone, forever. He spent holidays largely alone. And he is simply over-joyed to discover he has two full siblings and loving parents – all of whom he not only gets along with, but feels as though he belongs with.

I don’t want to drag on too long, but I will tell you this: I picked up my brother from the airport and introduced him to my parents. In all my years with my parents I never so them so happy. They both hugged him – and then they hugged him again and again. Imagine spending a lifetime thinking you will never see your child, and then God gives you that miracle. I saw sides of my parents then I never saw.

My father was holding back tears telling Mike that there wasn’t a week that went by in his life that he didn’t wonder where his son was. Mom and dad are so happy now. There are times when the “whole” family has a reunion and if you could see them it would make you cry.

They spent a lifetime feeling an important part of their family was missing, and they never thought they would have a reunion. I just want to make sure the last years of their lives are spent giving them the sense of completion they thought they would never know,.


Obsessed With Script Writing (Again, At Long Last)

I spent the last four days working on my script about my brother.

The writing was done with sober determination, head’s down, with my friend Mike.

I’m about half way through the script (it’s a feature length film).

Mike and I played in a band together, and we have a lot of creative history together.

It’s difficult for me to steal time away from work for personal projects, but I keep reminding myself that time is slipping by and I need to make the most of every moment.

Ironically, or perhaps in perfect complementary fashion, Mike is writing a script about a predicament we have both found ourselves in.

Which is this:

You’ve had a creative aspiration all of your life.

But life has distracted you.

Maybe you are married with kids, or you are single and you work too much.

In either case, many years go by during which you are tired and too often choose not to steal moments to paint, write, or create. Instead, you drink wine or watch TV.

And then one day you wake up and realize your window of youthful opportunity is nearly shut.

It is a wakeup call.

What will you do?

That is the premise of Mike’s film.

Mike’s film is called, “Driven”.

It is the story of a guy who works at the YMCA.

I can’t tell you anything other than that.

Mike doesn’t want his idea swiped.

The Beginning

“There is something I have to tell you before I die,” she said.

This is a statement that, when said by someone in pain, in anguish, struggling before you to find the strength to communicate something that will forever change your course of events, will bring you into what I call a biological state of emergency.

I have only experienced this state a handful of times in my life.

I was 20 the first time it happened. I was driving on the Long Island Expressway with a girlfriend. We were coming back from a winter trip to the beach, and ahead of us cars began swerving and spinning all over the road. They had hit an ice patch.

I was maybe 1/4 mile from 4 cars that were zigzagging across the three lanes. One went off the road and flipped into a snow bank. Another hit the center divider and then began doing 360’s in the lane I was in. I was approaching fast.

I felt it kick in then – I became incredibly focused, aware, sensitized. My instinct told me not to hit the brakes. Instead, I accelerated. I drove the car 75 mph through a small opening between the spinning cars as my girlfriend screamed “what the HELL are you doing??”. The car behind me tried following my path but didn’t make it. I looked into the rear-view mirror at a five car pile up. It happened so fast that my girlfriend was for a moment both enraged and stupendously impressed with my execution.

In that moment my brain analyzed the weaving patterns for an opening to drive through.

And it was happening again. A biological state of emergency might only last a few seconds, but the brain is in high gear. All the scenarios of what I might be told were blazing through my mind.

“You probably already know this,” she said. “It was a different time back then. I don’t want you to judge me…”

I think a few minutes may have passed with her repeating those three sentences. I had no idea what I was being told. And then, from “it was my first time”, and “his father was dying”, and “I didn’t think it could happen”, she wound up finally saying, “you have a brother…a FULL brother.”

So my parents were dating before they got married and my mother got pregnant. She flew to California and spent about four months in a home for unwed and pregnant women. She gave birth and then flew home. She never spoke about it for 44 years.

I went into work the next day and couldn’t focus at all. I spent three hours imagining which of my enormously quirky characteristics he might have, whether he looked like me, sounded like me, thinks like me.

I’ve seen the similarities between my sister and I. We have many mannerisms that are very similar. Whether this is because of nature or nurture or a combination of the two I can’t say. I might have more insight into this in 72 hours, after I meet my full brother for the first time.

There is so much about this story that when I tell it to people I never know really where to begin. I guess for me, the beginning is my mother telling me about the brother, because until then, from my point of view, there was no story. And each person in this story has a completely different point of view, and that’s one of the first things that dawned on me.

“I just don’t want you to judge me…”

She was crying. “I don’t want you to judge me.”

How could I judge her? She was visiting her 36 year old single son in San Francisco who plays in a band called Erogenous Jones, her son who says of his songs, “music that humiliates my mother but makes my uncles proud.”

My biological state of emergency was guiding me through the situation. I knew that there was only one thing to do.

I hugged her and told her I love her and said, “You did the right thing then, and you are doing the right thing now. It’s all going to be OK.”

She smiled and thanked me and I knew then that we had both done the right thing and that everything was going to be OK.

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