One More Hero Gone

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a beautiful young maiden and dashingly handsome Army captain made it through World War II and got married. Nearly one year later, they welcomed into the world their firstborn. And he was, and remained forevermore, the light of their lives.

Though he was all they ever wanted and more, they decided to make for him a best friend. A bright-eyed little brother with a marvelous sense of fun came hurtling into the world on – most appropriately – Halloween. It was clear from the first that the two little guys were destined to be close, for they shared everything, even their names. And so it was no surprise that Bruce Edward and Paul Edward galloped through childhood as thick as thieves – and goblins, and raconteurs, and pranksters, and awesomely all-around action figures.

Into this core unit the parents bravely introduced a whole clan of little leprechauns, all of whom looked up to, and adored, and even hero-worshipped their big brothers.

I must confess that I was one of those little rug-rats. In fact, I was crazy about all five of my brothers. You might even say that I am a recovering Big Brother Worshipper.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would bury four of those five heroes. And yet, here I am: inconsolable, heartbroken, and utterly unable to imagine a world without Bruce.

Bruce! Oh, Bruce! We didn’t have you nearly long enough!