I never knew Brion as a child. I wondered if I was even on his radar. I get it, though. I just couldn’t picture him in my world of make-believe, playing games with and on each other, my hyper excitability, and incessant talking — not a place for Brion. And yet, the photos were living proof year after year that we cousins were always together. Over the years we continued with our family gatherings. Since we all came from far and near, we especially looked forward to our annual Xmas parties. Brion would be there quietly in “watch” mode somewhere along the perimeter of the more vocal relatives. He always looked at ease with his eternal boyish look (was it the suspenders?) It was as adults that I got to know and love him.
Brion was a curious soul to me. Once I approached and got to know him I was eager to pick his brain. I instantly noted his gift for listening to the spoken and unspoken words. His curiosity and genuine interest in me generated many healthy dialogues between us. I saw him as funny, excitable with plenty to say, and he actually even raised his voice (surprise!). Brion had a knack for addressing problems directly and giving advice in comforting ways. And in those rare moments where words got in the way, I got warm and long hugs instead. He was a very loving cousin to me.
I will miss our talks very much.