So it was an especially foggy day out today… on my way home in the dark, Feliz Navidad playing on the radio, my mind was transported to a memory some 20 years ago or so.

My brother Matthew, who’s birthday is today, had just been given a new (to him) shiny green 2 door Datsun with a big red bow on top. He was the first of the four of us to get a driver’s license (I assume as fast as he could with all those girls in the house) and I thought that was the bee’s knees.

He offered (I like to pretend this was willingly) to let me ride in the passenger seat on the way home that night – fog in the air and the same old Spanish tune on the radio. He taught me, that since the Datsun was so small, it fit perfectly in the low pressure zone just feet off the tail of a big rig… Matthew would get close enough to the semi to take his feet off the pedals and hands off the wheel and say “look ma! no hands!”

(ma was NOT in this car)

Me and my preteen self thought silently –

My and my preteen self also thought – I’m gonna die tonight. No Feliz Navidad for me.

Every single time I hear that song – I think of that night (and I say a little hallelujah, thank you Jesus) and I remember… December 7th is my big brother’s birthday.

Thank you for the memory Matthew – thank you for not killing us that day – thank you for being the best brother.

Happy birthday Matthew – and Feliz Navidad.

(photos from our recent visit with Matthew and his beautiful family in Budapest, Hungary)