Now I will be the first to admit that my brother can be a jerk. He thinks I am a flaky, tree-hugging liberal (well, I am), and shakes his head when he thinks of the little flaky, tree-hugging "mini-me"s that I am raising. And he has a way of looking at you that makes you feel about two inches tall. Lately, he has been talking about something that really proves what a great guy he is. I wanted to tell everyone how wonderful he is, but realised that no one that I know in "real life" would care.
So I will torture you all with it, because you don't HAVE to read it, you can just move along and I will never know the difference.
Every year, my brother works as a counsellor at a camp for kids who have Crohn's Disease and Colitis. These are diseases of the GI tract and bowels. They are both painful and embarrassing. For young folks, there is the added feeling of alienation during a time when it is SO IMPORTANT to feel that you fit in.
The camp is a place for kids with the same health issues to get together and do things in an environment that is designed to cater to their medical needs. They even have a "prom" every year, and the kids get all dressed up for the dance! It is so cool.
My brother really likes doing this, and has been doing it for several years. I am not sure how he got into it, but it is obvious that he really cares for these kids. Just recently he was talking about how great he feels when he goes and eats the food there. Since the kids have digestive issues, the meals are all very nutritious and well balanced. He says he can really tell a difference in himself when he eats that way, and he would like to eat like that more often.
He also got word just recently that one of the kids he knows has been ill and in the hospital. He didn't even question it, he immediately planned a visit to this young person to try and cheer him up. He was even trying to think of gifts that he could bring.
I don't know, maybe I am overly impressed because this is my little brother. You know, the one who ruined my life by being born and who took unholy joy in torturing me as he grew up. To see him doing something that is so selfless and amazing just makes me so proud.