He ain’t heavy he’s my brother…

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Love Me Now
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
That from true affection flow.

Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I’m gone
And then have it chiseled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.

If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now.
If you wait until I am sleeping,
Never to awaken,
There will be death between us,
And I won’t hear you then.

So if you love me, even a little bit,
Let me know while I am living,
So I can treasure it.

Robert Paul Moreno

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another…
My brother

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In 1924, the first editor of Kiwanis Magazine, Roe Fulkerson, wrote of an encounter with “a spindly and physically weak lad” carrying a smaller child and “staggering towards a neighbouring park. ‘Pretty big load for such a small kid’ I said as I met him. ‘Why, mister,’ he smiled, ‘He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.”


This experience is the ideal example of brotherly love. In the verse from The Bible above, it is this love between brothers, and sisters that we are encouraged to weave into the fabric of our Christian relationships.
 When an ancient Greek scholar was writing on brotherly love he explained that this type of love is first given to us by our parents. They made us brothers. All faithful parents encourage their children to love each other – and ours certainly did. And if the siblings nourish this love they will, for the rest of their lives, find a fulfillment… a union with each other that will provide strength and peace as their days pass by. He also said that children who love each other honour their parents by that love, and in that love their parents seem ever present even after death. It is the same with our spiritual family. God our Father has made us a family, and throughout scripture He encourages our love for each other. When we love each other we honour Him and He is present in our love…
I love my brother dearly, his name is John and he is just over three years older than me. He is a wonderful brother who has looked out for me from the day I was born. Growing up, he always looked after me and I always looked up to him and I still do to this day.
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I often describe our childhood as idyllic. We grew up in a simple way, in very special home. We grew up in the fifties, shortly after the war and life seemed so much more simple then. We spent many happy holidays with parents who loved us and made sacrifices every year so we could always enjoy a family holiday. One special place we often went to was Broadhaven in West Wales. My brother and I enjoyed these times. Sometimes it was just us, often it was with a friend who just happened to tag along.
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This photograph shows the chalet we often rented near the sea in Broadhaven, complete with oil lamps for our light. The picture shows our very first family car, a Ford Anglia.
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My brother always was and always will be my hero. He was always doing things that I wanted to do. He had a motorbike and a huge number of cars, always different; there was a Land Rover, an Austin Healy ‘frog-eyed’ Sprite, which he painted blue and put a thick white line across it and many others. I was always the quiet one and I often longed to be like him, full of spirit and adventure, which often got him into some kind of bother but nothing could diminish his love of life and his wild imagination.
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The frog eyed Sprite!
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When we were growing up we were part of a large group of youngsters who attended our local church. They were great days full of laughter and fun.
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He had a range of jobs after he left school. He was a sales assistant in Evan Roberts, a big shop in the centre of Cardiff, where he would often go wearing a bowler hat; he was a farmer for a while, out in all kinds of weathers. He was a representative for a sweet firm called Batgers and a toy manufacturer, both of these meant a company car. He was also some kind of fitter/mechanic for Roneo Neopost, which meant a grey company mini van and I had countless rides in it and loved every one. It was while he was working for Roneo, visiting a company to repair their franking machine, that he met a young office girl who he eventually married. Chris has become not only my sister in law but one of my very best friends.
When they got married, my brother asked me to be his best man. I was still quiet in those days and the whole experience terrified me, but I had to do it because I loved him so much.
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It soon became apparent that he was only really happy when he was his own boss and he was brave enough to become a real entrepreneur. I’m not sure what Alan Sugar would have made of him, but wherever he went and whatever he did, he worked extremely hard to provide for his family. He got me involved in most of his businesses, often just to help me out when times were tough. When Jean and I got married, we bought a bungalow just a few doors away from him and Chris. They were happy days.
Jean and I cleaned cars when we were newly married. I was a teacher and part time car cleaner for John Newberry Car Sales, an office worker and driver in Merthyr Motor Auctions and South Wales Motor Auctions. Health and Safety prevented me from being a driver with Pegasus Travel, although much to Danny’s annoyance I did get the Pegasus jacket.
He is, without any doubt at all, one of life’s real characters and has one of the kindest hearts I know. When he picks up customers from the airport as part of his chauffeuring business, he always checks that they have bread and milk and will often divert to make sure they have all they need. People love him.
One of the clearest ways he showed his caring nature was on 21st October 1966, it was my birthday and we were celebrating, when we heard news of the Aberfan disaster. A coal tip had slid down a mountainside and engulfed a small school in the Rhondda Valley.  Without a second thought he said that he was going to help and he and I travelled to Aberfan to assist in the rescue mission. Dad and mum followed in their car but they were turned back. John, as only he can, managed to talk his way past several police road blocks and we spent several harrowing hours carrying buckets of coal slurry as the bodies of the victims were recovered. It was a night that will be with me forever.
Often, he puts on a show of being fed up and pretending that he hates a fuss, but he has never fooled me, I know him to be a kind, caring man who loves his family and will help anybody who is in need.
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Never did he show his loving and caring side more than the way he looked after my parents. Words cannot describe how good he was. I was often busy with church and school and looking back, I can see how good my brother was. He would ring every day to make sure they were OK and had all they needed. He would always drop in to check on them and on a Saturday when the whole family called to be together, my brother was always there – often with his own special little treat from our mum. He was special to them and played his part as the oldest child of the family wonderfully well. He was the one who was always available when they needed a lift to the hospital or some other  appointment. I will always be in his debt.
 He arranged day trips for them, days which they loved  and treasured, especially when there was a meal and a train involved!! I will always be grateful that when our dear father passed away it was my brother who was holding his hand.
It was my brother who rang me when I was on holiday in Canada to tell me of our dad’s passing, he was so kind and gentle as he told me. I just fell to my knees and wept in a car park in Kelowna, holding a public telephone and needed a hug from him more than ever that day, but he seemed so far away.
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It makes no difference whether they are old or young, my brother loves people.He is never happier than when he is playing with the kids. I recently took my grandson Alfie on a visit, the two of them got on like a house on fire, Alfie genuinely took to him like an old friend, thanks mainly to John’s kind, caring nature.
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 In recent years my brother and I have made several trips to Normandy to visit Pegasus Bridge. On D.Day 6th June 1944, my father was dropped in by parachute near Pegasus Bridge and helped liberate France. It was a secret he kept for many years until just before the 60th Anniversary, when my family took him over to France to receive a special medal. Sadly John and Chris were unable to come on that occasion, but we have since made several visits back to Benouville to pay our respects. My brother’s natural ability to talk to people meant that on one visit we befriended an old soldier named Joe Riley, and we now often keep in touch with old Joe and meet up with him at The Cafe Gondree near the bridge each time we visit.
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Cafe-Gondree
 
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With a friend, it’s a shared experience, with a parent, shared heritage, with a mate , shared love. But with a brother it’s all of these ….and more…even a troublesome nail.
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I love my brother.

6 thoughts on “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother…

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