A Letter To My Brother


It’s been almost a year since you left us, and once again I find myself unable to sleep, going through old pictures.  I think about you every day and try to smile.  Sometimes it’s easy; I just think about one of the million stupid jokes we had.  Sometimes it’s not.  Knowing you’re no longer a phone call away, just for a laugh, breaks my heart.

Every time I see someone vaguely resembling a celebrity I still say to myself, “look there goes Nicholas Cage’s brother, Rick Cage,” and it’s always in your voice, followed up by your distinct chuckle, the worse the doppelganger the better.  I can’t watch the credits in a movie theater roll up without thinking about saying every strange name, out loud, in a pirate voice.  I resist the urge to do it out loud now, unless it’s a really good one.

I think of how we all used to quote Friends for hours.  Now, when I watch it, I can swear that they were our jokes first.  I’ll be in an everyday conversation when an obscure quote will come out of me in response.  I quickly scold myself knowing you’d be one of the few to actually get that; before I go into my explanation, “It was the one where Joey…”

A lot is going on right now.  I can’t escape the growing chatter of the upcoming election.  It seems like everyone is willing the share their opinions, and the only political commentary I want to hear is from you, because I know it would end up with you getting all fired up, doing your Bush impression, and me laughing uncontrollably on the floor.

It’s been almost a year since you left us, and it feels like a lifetime.  So many moments missed and times it would have been nice to hear your voice.  You would always be there for me if I needed a friend and you still make me laugh out loud, even if it does creep out the other people in line at Starbucks.  I hope someday we can laugh again together about nothing, but until then know that you are greatly missed.

[…]whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe. 

The True Gentleman – John Walter Wayland

Phi Alpha,


Always go for the laugh.

7 Comments on “A Letter To My Brother

  1. We all miss Mikey. Especially you. I know he would be happy that you are remembering.

  2. That was beautiful Bryan. I am sorry you have lost such a kindred soul. In your memories, in some way, he lives on.

  3. That was so nice. It is great to know he had friends that really cared. He is truly missed by so many people. Aunt Donna

  4. I often read this and the love you had for MIchael is beautiful.
    He was so lucky to have such great friends / brothers in his life.
    You have no idea how much he loved you .
    Mom Ruotolo

    • Thank you! I think about him every day and how lucky I was to be his friend. He was a big part of my transition into this life I’m living now. He helped shape my comedy and was a shining example of humility, and he still is.

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