Monday, June 05, 2006

A Thousand Thoughts of You...

Last night I stumbled across a documentary on was about the life of Nat King Cole. The timing was very appropriate and coincidental. Eight years ago today, my only brother passed away after being viciously struck down by cancer. My brother was a huge fan of Cole's. We grew up listening to the music of Nat King Cole. Our mother, a talented pianist, played his songs regularly, her all-time favourite being 'Stardust' written by Hoagy Carmichael. Not once can I recall her not playing 'Stardust' when she tickled the ebony and ivory. The song featured strongly in our lives. Music played a huge part in our lives.

My brother was a complex character. I never thought he wouldn't be around to be part of my life. He is still part of it, of course, spiritually and in memory.

He didn't suffer fools easily....actually, he had no time for them at all, rarely hiding his distaste, more often voicing it. Viewing life in black and white, he spoke his mind, caring little or nought about what others thought. He could be gentle, kind, sensitive and emotive. Equally, he could be abrasive, cruel, unforgiving and caustic. He was a chameleon. A perfectionist, almost bordering on 'obsessive-compulsive' in some ways, he could be very annoying. He had a wicked sense of humour. He read voraciously. His knowledge of all things was vast. He could turn his hand to anything, able to turn a piece of timber into something beautiful.

My brother loved music, particularly good country, but also rock, ballads, some classical and great tenors such as Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras, Lanza, Tauber, McCormack et al . I've witnessed tears flood his eyes while listening to a song. He enjoyed most sports. Rugby League was his favourite, to play in his younger years, and to watch as he grew older. He was a 'man's man'. He had an eye for a good-looking, stylish woman, too. He was a excellent cook, often ringing me for tips and recipes. Animals were always part of his life. He was a strict disciplinarian. He was a paradox. Sometimes I hated him...all times I loved him. Yes...he was very complex...

He was my brother.

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