Big Bro

Today is Big Bro’s birthday and he’s been very much on my mind since I woke this morning. We have always been extremely close and he’s  great the way he has looked out for me since I was tiny.

Big Bro and Me: Photo Frank Tubridy

We have very similar interests and tennis was something that really brought us together through both practice and playing together in mixed doubles tournaments for years.

I texted him this morning to wish him a happy birthday and got a typical reply that included: Thanks. Time passes….. I’ll go for a walk and cool swim. 

Yes, he’s another mad all year round sea swimmer. I hadn’t intended to go for a swim today because it was so cold ~ the coolest around here since 2010. Anyway, I got to the beach with the dogs at the time I knew that Big Bro would be going for his ‘cool swim’ and was struck by the way there was a path of golden sunbeams reaching from the horizon back to the shore. It looked so like the pathway that he and I have walked, played, laughed, cried, teased, run, tennised, read, written, chatted, hiked, driven, paddled and swum together for almost six decades now.

I simply had to dash in and join with him in a celebratory swim, even if we were 100 miles apart.  It’s quite incredible how many memories came splashing back as I had the dip in the golden waters. I wonder what he was thinking about. I know that he’d  just chuckle and pretend to have forgotten if I asked him so I won’t bother. You do get to know someone when they’ve been an essential part of your life always.

So, for now, my thought is that ‘the family that swims together stays together.’ 


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

31 thoughts on “Big Bro”

  1. Great photo of you and your big bro, Jean. Good memories are so precious, aren’t they? I applaud you both for swimming at the temperatures we’ve been having lately, you must be as fit as a fiddle, but I think I’ll stick with a blast of cold water from the shower to wake up my immune system. Love your beach video, nice an relaxing viewing before I head off to bed, thank you.

  2. Happy birthday to a special brother. What a special relationship you have. I love the video. I don’t know that I could ever leave a place like that..:)

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