The Shapers – My Brother Bob

Shapers. We all have people in our lives who influence us. Some directly, some by request, and some so subtly we may not realize it . We choose, ultimately, those who we wish to borrow from and those we wish to learn from. In over 20,000 days I’ve be influenced by hundreds, perhaps thousands. But there are some who are more significant than others.

Bob and Linda stop to see us in Atlanta during their Four Corners Tour.

Bob is the oldest of my siblings. And eight and half years older than I am. He had a birthday last week, which I remembered this morning.

Bob left for college when I was 10, but I don’t remember much about him growing up. After college he stayed in Michigan and eventually moved to Traverse City, which was not that close to Cleveland to allow many visits. He moved closer to the family as I was finishing college, and I guess you could say we hit it off. We ended up working for the same company for much of my career, and we were able to work together on projects for about 10 years total.

This is not the history of Bob and I, but here are things about him that have shaped me.

  • He likes to try new things. He came into my office once saying “I always wanted to go backpacking”. Two months later we were on an 80 mile trek in the Smoky Mountains. Another time he said “Have you ever thought about parachuting?” In a few weeks’ time, there we were, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
  • He loves his family. I had children much later in life than he and Linda did, but watching them parent taught me a lot and prepared me. My parents taught us well, too, in that regard. You just pay more attention to it when you will be the parent!
  • He takes life as it comes. A freak accident when he was in college left him without routine use of his right arm and hand. If you didn’t know that about him, it might take you a while to even realize there is something different about that. And he has had a couple of bouts with cancer. Two different kinds. And he continues to thrive.
  • He is low key. He gets excited about stuff, but only stuff that matters.

He retired a few years ago, and when I encounter people we both worked with, the first thing out of their mouth is usually “How’s your brother?”

He’s awesome, thanks for asking. And always has been. Happy Birthday Bob, here’s to many more.


One Response to The Shapers – My Brother Bob
  1. […] there is the literal big brother. I have two. One I wrote about here. Big Brother […]

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