The Patriarch of my family is my Older Brother. I am not sure when that happened exactly. Perhaps when our younger brother died suddenly this past summer but, I think it happened long before that.
He has always been the one who makes everything alright for everyone, no matter what happens. That is not to say our father hasn’t always been a strong and loving provider. Or that our grandfathers were not kind and loving men. Or that the women in our family are not strong, intelligent, powerful women. All of these things are true. But somewhere along the way, my older brother became the central pillar that holds up the hall of our House. He is the Cornerstone of our foundation, the Oak that gives us shelter and security and rest when we are weary. He is the peace-bringer we look to and the example we aspire to. He is always there.
And now, when our grandparents are passed and our parents are aging, and the children are becoming adults, and raising little ones of their own (well one at least) the presence of this strong and easy-going man, has become essential to the well-being of our family.
He is the one who spends time with our father, and our mother. He is the one who steps in to provide love and support our brother’s daughters, he and his love, his wife of 32 years, provide the home and hearth for our aunts, uncles and cousins, and their children and grandchildren to gather, so that our extended family can come together and remember that we are a tribe. There is no judgement, everyone is welcome, everyone is family, and family is everything.
Knowing that he will be there when we are old, when our parents pass, when the girls marry, when the boys become fathers, when our grandchildren too become adults, gives me a sense of peace that I have associated with him since I was a small child.
He is a loving son, husband, father, uncle, coach, friend and brother. He is a Great Man. A man of peace, a man of care, a man of humble strength. I Give Thanks for the Blessing of Our Patriarch. May the Gods and the Ancestors bless our family with his presence for decades yet to come. So Mote it Be!