Yesterday was my ex-brother-in-law Boyce's birthday. I feel bad because it slipped up on me and I didn't send him an insulting birthday card like I usually do. Never anything sweet and sappy. It has to be funny and insulting so he knows I still care about him, even though he's not married to my sister anymore. That's the kind of relationship we've always had.
I won't talk about their divorce. I know how tricky marriage can be - I've been married twenty-five years now myself. But just because they divorced, it doesn't mean our connection is broken.
He didn't impress me at first. Her previous boyfriends schmoozed me, like the one working at Jack-in-the-Box who gave me free stuff and let us climb to the top of the Box one evening. In contrast, Boyce didn't like kids. I was ten. Enough said.
But we grew on each other, and over the years I became closer to him than I was to my oldest brother, despite the ten year age difference. He made me laugh - he's still one of the funniest people I know. We jogged and played tennis. He gave me lots of advice that I've passed on to my kids. I thought of him as a brother and a friend. I feel blessed that I had Boyce and Brenda as well as my parents watching my back, especially when I stepped out on my own.
Admittedly, there have been periods lasting years when we haven't spoken because of arguments. I can't say that will never happen again - we're both stubborn, passionate, opinionated people. But I can say that I'll always consider him my brother.
So...happy 59th birthday (yesterday), Boyce! Expect to receive something funny and insulting in the mail really soon.