One birthday I don’t commonly mention in our busy birthday month of April is that of my brother, Steve Grimm. I don’t get all my family mentioned here, but this Monday, my blog had a gap that I was able to fill nicely with this little post!
In our family, there were three of us who grew up together. We were born over the course of 3 years and 9 days in 3 different towns. I was the first, born 10 months after my parents married and was born in Minnesota where they lived their first year of marriage. My sister Betsy, born on my first birthday, was born in New Jersey. When she was 2 months old, we moved to Bolivia, where we lived in a variety of cities and rural towns during our parents’ three years there. Nine days after my sister turned 2, my brother was born in Cochabamba.
I remember visiting him at the hospital as a newborn and being very concerned when he cried and his face got all red! I remember mental snapshots of his first few days when he was very small (to my 3 year old eyes).
When he was 1, we returned to the U.S. because of my mom’s nervous breakdown (as they called it back then). I have no idea exactly what that entailed. I know she was physically and emotionally quite depleted.
…and then came #4!
It wasn’t until I was in college and almost 20, that I had one more sister! She is the odd one in the family in the sense that she was born in December instead of April! So yes, there are 4 of us, but the 4 of us didn’t really grow up together.
Now, on to Steve again
Now, back to Steve. It is his birthday today. For many years, he was a captain with American Airlines. He loved to fly…flew out of J.F.Kennedy Airport in New York City. However, he lived in Pennsylvania, a couple of hours away.
He is tall like my dad was (6’1 ish) and was blond. He has now outlived my dad by more than 10 years so is grayer/whiter by far than my dad was when he died at age 54. He loves to putter around the house and fix things. He also likes to garden. He retired a little early. After 9-11, the joy of flying was considerably less than it once had been. There was no way to know if someone would hijack the plane and fly it into a building. The other concern was that the airline would go out of business and all his retirement would be lost! The timing worked out well.
He and his wife have lived in PA for years and been involved in their church and community there. They also travel with their AA discount during off times.
How did I miss that he was an introvert?
Maybe because I was talking too much?
It took me years to realize that he is actually an introvert. I had no idea! It’s funny when extroverts go through life, they just assume everyone else is just like they are…especially family members. He managed to hold his own with his two extroverted sisters, so I just figured he was like we were.
Then, during a visit a few years ago, I learned about a number of events that took place during his high school years that I knew nothing about (I was away at school myself!) Suddenly, it dawned on me that he was an introvert pure and simple. Poor thing! No wonder we drove him crazy. We were non-stop talkers. All those words and all that noise? ACK! It must have driven him nuts!
I still remember his superman outfit!
If I had a photograph of one childhood memory…and this photo doesn’t exist, it would be of him in his blue bathing suit, or was it red? and a towel put on like a cape that made him look like superman! He used to wear that thing around the house often and pretend he was superman!
I think he had an extremely tender heart. He had a number a situations in high school where he was hurt and lied to by Christian people in authority. By the grace of GOD, he is still a believer…and alive, but it could easily have gone the other way.
I was totally unaware of all that was happening at the time…but GOD knew and took care of him when the people who should have been caring for him didn’t always do what they promised.
He knew he wanted to be a pilot, so he learned how to do that. Then, he went to college for 1 or 2 years and received considerable help and growth at the college he attended. Later, he went to a college that was more technical to get certifications to help with his flying. By then, he was married.
He hasn’t taken the normal career or education path, but he got where he hoped to go and then some. He got some liberal arts where he is definitely wired, as well as the technical for his job. He worked hard and has maintained his integrity over the years. I am proud of the man my little brother became. GOD is good and has done a wonderful work in his life to make him a solid man of GOD.
Now that we live closer to him than we ever have, he has come to help me with my garden the last 2 years. It was a godsend in the middle of those two moves! We’ll have to find a way to get together again this year.
Happy, happy birthday Steve.
I hope for you and Patty to have many more healthy, happy birthdays together!
note: This photo taken a few years ago before my mom’s graveside service. Aside from a few more or less pounds, we still look about the same. Our youngest sister was only able to come to the funeral, not the graveside service a month or so later.