March 17th is an exciting day for us in Ireland, Indiana, as you might imagine! There is a huge celebration that lasts several days. There is a ceremonial mayor, a spud shoot, corn-hole tourney, a road rally, Irish road bowling, a Miss Ireland contest, a craft fair, a parade, and much more!
As fun as all of this is, March 17th can also be a day of mixed emotions for me. This is my brother's birthday. Today he would have been 52.
So, today's slice allows me to share seventeen things that make me smile as I remember my brother on his birthday:
1. his love for music and playing drums (you can see it in his face in a photo that hangs in The Bluebird Cafe in Bloomington, Indiana)
2. his love for striped shirts
3. the nickname his musician friends dubbed him with: "The Fabulous Marty Kerr"
4. his calm, easy-going nature, accepting of anyone and everyone
5. his ability to be satisfied with what he had (he didn't have much but always said he didn't need anything more)
6. his stick-to-it-ive-ness - when his car wasn't running and he couldn't afford to get it fixed, he rode his bike to and from work, even in the winter and even though he worked a night shift
7. the way he loved playing with his nieces and nephews when they were young
8. sock wars at Christmas
9. his ready smile and willingness to help out (especially with outdoor things)
10. him painting my mini-barn one Memorial Day weekend when it was 90 degrees outside, while listening to the Indy 500 race on a radio, happy as a lark
11. hunting for salamanders in the woods
12. his big closet in our house out behind IBM where we camped out often
13. how he made our family of three girls complete
14. how I called him to tell him to be careful every time I saw or heard of a motorcycle accident, and he always reassured me that he was careful
15. his love for watching Nascar races
16. how he finally decided he loved the logic of math after hating it in school
17. his huge smile in pictures of him with our dog first Duchess, and all the later dogs - he loved them all and they loved him.
We lost you much too soon.
I miss you, and think of you every day—but especially on this day!
A wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, lifelong learner, educator