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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera


It was my sixteenth birthday party and I had a bunch of friends over. We were all sprawled out in the living room watching movies in the dark. I think we were watching House, that 80s horror movie about a writer living in his late aunt's house. My beagle, Lucy, had recently given birth to a litter of pups and they were being kept in the garage. My brother and sister-in-law had to pass through the living room to get to the garage to see them. As my brother passed behind the TV, he poked his head around to see what we were watching. There was a Vietnam flashback scene playing and Randy looked out at us and then back at the TV. Then he held up his hands like a machine gun and went "Rata tat tat tat tat tat." The room froze in silence, every teenager staring wide eyed at this guy they didn't know. 

I busted out laughing. 

To all of my friends, my brother was this mystery dude that showed up at band concerts and birthday parties. To me, my brother has always been that cool dude that shows up for everything. We've always had the same quirky sense of humor and analytical brain. Sometimes this surprises me because of our sixteen year age difference, how we can be so similar, but genetics can be weird. He celebrated a birthday yesterday and after a year of near misses and general accidents, I feel pretty grateful that he survived another year. I also feel pretty dang grateful to have him as my brother. 

Even if sometimes he's totally weird.