He is real, he's my brother Patrick Jude and today is his birthday, so today is his turn out of my head and on to this blog. Of all of my family he has the most IOU's from me in quality time. I owe him as many kisses and hugs as there are stars in the sky, my life is truly deficient in Pat time. That, will need to be corrected.
When I think of working in a garage, I think of Pat. Some of my earliest memories of him are his bottom torso sticking our from a dune buggy or a black VW beetle. Pat, isn't afraid of engineering, there isn't anything the man can't teach himself. He's an Army man, Mountain Division. He is the toughest Holmes alive, takes after Uncle Mike Holmes in toughness for sure. Mind you I once saw Uncle Mike give himself stitches.
When I think of Pat I think of a killer butterfly stroke, a healthy layer of pepper on soup and ordering the biggest steak on the menu. I think of a brush cut and fatigues and MRE's. I think of his pack sitting in the front hall with the machete on the back. I think of him patiently training a laborador. He is a tough man. I've seen him speed away on his motorcycle, sometimes without saying goodbye. I know enough to know if he's giving you a hard time its cause he loves you, if he didn't - he wouldn't bother wasting his breath.
He makes the best bubble-baths a kid could ask for, and the best chocolate milk. I will never forget the days he would pack my lunch for school, they were random occurrences and incredible. He once took a bunch of "Holmes" fatigue labels and put them on everything I took to school. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. I think I drove my class and teachers crazy with how much I talked about my brother the soldier. I still have the letters he would write me when he would report how many bullets he was going through.
From those early memories I have seen him turn inspiring scholar, incredible father and all around perfectly interesting man... the kind that are hard if not impossible to find. If there was a symbol for being an individual, for standing separate and proud from the crowd, its Pat.
Pat met Wendy in Atlanta, the story I heard is cute and trying to imagine my brother chatting up a girl makes me smile. Its no wonder Wendy caught his attention, the beautiful smile and long red hair could probably be spotted miles away. Apparently he was walking by a bar in Atlanta and saw her inside, I think he may have been in uniform and with friends. He says something to them about noticing her and having to talk to her, goes in and does. Wendy ends up being a girl from just east of Syracuse, a real "cherub" as Mom would say, its a small world and that was twenty years ago.
I can not begin to list the thank yous I have for this man, I actually don't know if he knows how much of my personality comes from copying him incessantly... here goes.
Quirky Mary-ish things that are actually owed to Patrick Jude:
Love of Star Trek the original series and Dr. Who - exactly. A healthy appreciation and knowledge of classic movies. A serious love of classic rock on vinyl. This is from finding a gold mine of mint records in the basement and listening to them non-stop in high school. There was Morrison Hotel, The Song Remains the Same, Physical Graffiti, In through the Out Door, Who's Next, amazing. I was in love with that record collection and learned that music the way I should of, off vinyl. Then Pat came home one holiday, was like "Whoa my old records, cool!" They were gone. I was soooo mad, but if I think of walking into a room and seeing my first copy of Nevermind on my niece's desk I'd take it back without flinching. Well played man.
One of the most amazing things I look up to Pat about is how he is with his kids. Jude, Emma and Cian have the benefit of being allowed to be perpetually in thought. Patrick answers questions with questions and wants to know why at all times. If say, Jude wants to know how windshield wipers work Pat might say "How do you think they work?" To which Jude will then explain in incredibly imaginative detail how he thinks they do. Pat will then ask "And why do you think its that way and not another way." Jude will reply exactly why.
Because of this, Jude can sit there among adults confidently speaking his mind... reminds me of a girl I once knew. I have written how my father took the time to engage imagination and taught me to be in awe of things around me, Pat has mastered this in fatherhood. And it suits him well. When he does something he does it right or not at all, with incredible research at every step. He seems to want to master things, not just attempt them.
He has no use for anything material, he doesn't even want his house on the grid and hasn't owned a TV in years. He prefers linux. He, like the rest of my family is incredibly good at laughing and long conversation. Pat appreciates never-ending good coffee and sitting around a kitchen table. I miss him dearly and wish I could just have him in my life just as ordinarily as stopping by the grocery store. I would love to know what he is getting into, researching or thinking on a daily basis. I could use someone as trustworthy as him in my life point blank telling me the truth with nothing but good intentions in his heart, true blue.
Happy Birthday Puggy!