Today my brother, Corbin Davis, would have been 40 years old. I hadn't thought about the fact that this would have been his big 4-0 till I was fixing breakfast and did a mental count. It brought a smile to my face. As much as I miss him, it's wild to imagine my little brother being that old. And maybe even having kids. He would have been amazing.
He already was amazing at 15. He was a big guy, 6'3" and 180 pounds. A self-professed computer geek before there were computer geeks, he had the first desktop of anyone we knew in Oklahoma City. This was maybe 1982 or '83. I was the athlete of the family, and while I stayed after school training and competing, Corbin would be giving his time to teach elementary students how to use the computer (this was before our K-12 school had a computer lab -- there was just one computer on campus).
Years later my mom ran into one of those "elementary students" at the grocery store. He had graduated from high school and said he would never forget how Corbin introduced him to the computer.
Corbin's life was cut short at 15 when he and my dad were in a car accident during a blizzard up near the Oklahoma panhandle in March, 1984. They were trapped in the wreckage for several hours before my uncle was able to send an Army helicopter to rescue them. Unfortunately, the small hospital in nearby Beaver, Oklahoma, was unable to help my brother. His last words were my mom's car phone number.
I've always tried to mark Corbin's birthday by doing something special in his memory. In the early years it was really difficult and sometimes enough just to look at an old photo or two of us.
When I started having kids, my feelings about my brother took on an added dimension as I would occasionally recognize a glimpse of him in one of their expressions or laughter.
I've always told my kids stories about their uncle Corbin. His memory is very much alive. Each year on May 31 we buy a birthday cake -- today it was (by a unanimous vote) chocolate fudge. The kids invited their neighborhood friends over for a swim party. Later, after they all went back home, my kids and I hung up a wind chime on our back patio. It reminds me of one Corbin made long ago for a Cub Scouts project. I don't know why I was thinking about that old wind chime, but somehow it seemed fitting to hang one up to commemorate his 40th.
Happy Birthday, Corbin.
I love ya,
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