Sixth in line is little brother Rick (six years younger than me.) Unlike the rest of us, who are prone to share our drama with anyone who will stand still long enough to listen, Rick keeps his sentences short and to the point.
I remember one time Dad rigged up a rope swing. I believe his motivation came from the fact that he was trying to nap and our wooden screen door banged shut a thousand times in twenty minutes. He pulled the grain truck under an oak tree, propped a ladder in the bed and flung a hefty rope over a limb. Picking up a sturdy stick, he tied it to the bottom of the rope and returned to his nap.
It took us a while to figure out the most dangerous way to use the swing but eventually figured out that by standing on top of a tractor parked on an incline, we could swing nearly horizontally to other side of the gravel driveway.
Entertained long enough for Dad to finish his nap, he wandered out to sit on the front porch step sipping on an iced tea from his favorite blue tupperware tumbler.
“Hey, Dad, look!” Rick pulled the rope taught, positioned himself on the stick/seat and jumped off the tractor. He swept through the air. At the highest part of the arc, the seat broke and he crashed to the ground.
Instead of crying, he stood up, walked over to Dad and said, “I broke my arm.”
Last year, when I received my first rejection from an agent I sent a copy of the email to all my siblings. As expected, they sent me their best wishes and comforting words of hope. This is what I got from Rick.
I immediately printed it off and stuck it on the wall where I look at it every day.