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  • Writer's pictureDave Griffith


I am the youngest of three brothers, between 16 and 12 years old.  So, for my entire life, they have been in my life.  That is until this last week when my oldest brother passed suddenly at 86. I learned of his death with a phone call Sunday night while watching the Oscars with my wife.  I knew the call would come someday, but the news was still shocking.

It is our blessing that even with the age gap we are, and now were, very close. When I was young, I lived for school vacations when they would come home. I have an early memory of us building a sled run after a massive snowfall on our property in Pound Ridge. They ran a hose to create an ice coat, which would have been fine, except it made it a challenge to stop before you came to the stone wall that marked the woods at the bottom of the hill. I remember visiting my oldest brother at Fort Dix when he served in the US Army. We were there for all the major events, weddings, and births, which made me a very young uncle, anniversaries, and our parents' 50th in Vermont, where we all had the worst hangover in history. As our families grew, we established a tradition of gathering after Christmas at my middle brother's farm on the Eastern Shore. Right before Covid, the last one included our grandson for the first time—some 31 of us and several dogs. We were there for each other for every major decision, every major life event, good or a challenge. When Mom died, when Dad passed, when my oldest brother's wife died early from cancer, when several of us got sober, graduations, weddings, births, deaths, recognition events, and celebrations. We took very different paths and didn’t always agree, but we were always brothers, always there for each other.

Through it all, the brothers and I would add our wives stood firm together. As I talk to my friends and colleagues, I realize how fortunate we are to have the relationships we do. I am grateful that last October when I turned 70, the three of us gathered once again at the farm with our wives, broke bread, told stories, and while not spoken, understood that this may be the last time in this life that we would all be together. We have our wives, Nancy, Penny, and Jacqui to thank for making us take the time to gather.

They have been in my life for my entire life. I take comfort in the fact that they will always be my big brothers and will always be with me.

So in this life, the three are now two

Rest in Peace, Rise in Glory, and save me a seat.

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