Little later putting up the post this morning than I would like.Deep Creek I have not yet mastered the way of writing blogging topics prior to that morning, and then publishing them at a later date. It is all good though, because I am on “holiday” as my mother loves to say, and that holiday is down in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland for my brother Mike’s Bachelor part weekend. As Chris Farley in Tommy Boy says, “Brothers don’t shake hands. Brother’s gotta hug!” If not for building the relationships with my siblings and parents, I definitely would not be the man that I am today, and have the aspirations of the even better man that I can become.

As the youngest of 4, I have had my fair share of everything the youngest goes through, picking on, fighting, crying, screaming and tricks. At the same time, those were severely outweighed day in and day out by the love and caring I received from those same siblings, and my family and friends around me. Growing up, I used to tell my mother, the baby of 4 in her family as well, “I don’t want to be the baby!” And in her infinite wisdom, she would keep saying, “Yes Josh, you DO want to be the baby.” Various reasons would follow that, such as, “when they’re gone, we’ll have more money to spend on you,” and “you will love your siblings and cherish these days” and boy was she right. I wouldn’t change my life for anything, and a large part of that is the amazing relationships I have developed with my family.

First, I want to apologize to my sister, because she probably won’t be mentioned much more in this post, but as it is Bachelor weekend, I am sure she will understand. She knows I love her, and I will post about our J&J relationship later.

Over the years, I have been blessed with two great brothers, and our relationships have just grown greatly. As a kid, I shared a room with the younger of the two, M. Twin beds in a small room couldn’t have felt any smaller, but those formative years through pillow fights, thrown stuffed animals, and the occasional trophy, have been just a great base for building our relationship. He would drive us to high school every morning, and through the country and rap music, the fake “shifting” of the automatic Lumina, and several close calls with death, we grew closer. He has been a great impact on my life, and his happy go-lucky attitude has helped shape my positive attitude, and helped me to see the beauty and fun in all of life’s moments. Now if only I could beat him in golf tomorrow…

As for my other brother, R., 6 years growing up is a big difference, but as we have grown older and matured both in our own rights, he has helped guide me spiritually and financially towards a path of peace and freedom. Countless nights have been spent on a porch, around a kitchen table, or out on chairs talking about life, God, money, dreams, problems and how we have both thought through and worked through all of them. He has been a rock to stand strong upon, and a beacon to guide me safely through life’s troubling times. His marriage has been an excellent reference point for me to see what a great marriage is, and how to work through little differences between spouses, and even the big fights. His plan through Dave Ramsey in becoming debt free has paved the way to prosperity for himself, his wife, and their family to come.

As I get ready to bid M. adieu into the wonderful life of marriage, I cannot wait to see what new experiences he can share with me going forward. He was an excellent guide last Christmas, while having some difficulties in working through small problems with my girlfriend, and since then we have been making leaps and bounds in our own relationship. These brothers, and my father, have paved the way for me, and learning from their examples and talking with them is helping me get to where I want to be at. Though we do not get to see each other nearly enough, it is important on weekends like this to continue that growth, and spend every minute that I can with them to ask questions, listen and learn. My life truly is blessed.

Question: How do you help to build and grow the relationships you have with your family or close friends?

“Brothers don’t Shake Hands. Brothers Gotta HUG!”

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