Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Light A Candle
As I'm writing this, my youngest brother, Dick, is prepping for major surgery. He will have a cancerous kidney removed today. The tumor is large and ugly. We are holding our breaths waiting to hear what we hope will be good news - that it all came out, that he will survive. If you are reading this, please hold him in your thoughts and prayers. He is a good man.
My brother is youngest by 5 minutes. As a twin, he was born last, a complete surprise to my mother who was only expecting one child. She named him after her father, my grandfather Richard Whitfield, who had died just before the twins were born. Dick and Hunt were not identical in any way. Hunt was dark-haired and quiet, and looked more like my father's side of the family, particularly our Uncle Hunt. Dick was blond and gregarious, the family joker. His sunny disposition has been with him, from the beginning.
All of my three brothers are great craftsmen, but Dick used his artistry on so many diverse projects. He has made beautiful woven baskets, caned chairs, made a guitar from scratch with an inlaid dragonfly design, built furniture, boats, portions of his own home, done remarkable paintings and drawings, tied flies for fly fishing, cooked magnificent gourmet meals, and so much more. He taught his three sons many of these skills, and gave them all a love of music. When they are together, all of them sing and play guitars and banjos.
Dick is an avid reader and book collector, and loves nothing better than the hunt for a rare and tantalizing volume. He has been known to contact authors who interest him and develop wonderful friendships and correspondences with them. He is interested in the arts, the theater, music, film, museums. His sense of humor is phenomenal. He does NOT love to travel, and I finally got him to California after many years of begging. He helped with my son's wedding, and was a total mensch and workhorse, putting up tents, stringing lights, arranging flowers, running errands, and being a great host.
He and my wonderful sister-in-law, Marnie, moved to Sarasota, Florida, a few years ago. Marnie is equally talented and has been married to Dick for 32 years. It is apparent that they still love each other deeply and have had a remarkably happy marriage.
So, light a candle for this much beloved brother of mine. He's a keeper!