I was driving back to work after lunch this afternoon and heard a fellow on the radio say that today is National Brothers Day.

There was a time when I would have happily celebrated my relationship with my siblings but, alas, those days are gone...

I am the oldest of three brothers. We were close growing up, but life happens and things change. The middle brother got himself into some pretty serious legal trouble, but seemed on the way to turning his life around when he died of a sudden illness in early 2006. I do miss him greatly, in spite of the events that landed him behind bars for a time, but I can't honestly say that I've yet to fully forgive him for what he did. I'm trying.

As for the youngest sibling… Well, let’s just say that we became estranged following the death of my father a few years back. There were questions surrounding the manner in which Dad died - I have my suspicions regarding my sister-in-law's role in the matter, but nothing I will probably ever be able to prove - and when I raised said questions my brother told me (and I will remember this comment to my dying day) "I don't even want to see you at the f***ng funeral." 

Then, in an e-mail a week or so later, he told one of my sons to "eat s***and die." 

It was at that moment that I decided that he had lost the right to call himself my brother. And while it pains me greatly to admit it, the simple fact of the matter is that reconciliation is probably never going to happen and for all intents and purposes he is dead to me as well. That's not easy for me to say, but for the moment it is the truth.

Fortunately for me, I have had the great good fortune to learn along the way that family is not determined by blood alone, and because of this I have a number of “brothers in spirit” whom I love and cherish as much as if they were blood. So to you brothers, I say with great love and respect Happy Brothers Day.