Little Brother, Big Hero.

“Safe flight bud, thanks for coming home, first Christmas that actually felt like Christmas in a long time” -JD

When you don’t have cell service on the flight to Winnipeg and you check your text messages mid journey in the airport scrambling to catch your connecting flight back to Thompson, Manitoba, don’t open the sappy one from your little brother. You need to focus, you’re carrying an 18 lb dog in a bag she hates running through the airport and  you’re really not wanting to leave to where you now call home from where home really is. Read that text when you are alone, or else on top of all of that you have going on in that moment, you’ll also have to try and keep your shit together and emotions in check in front of hundreds of strangers; like I did.

Its always been a known fact I think that JD is not one to usually keep his emotions in check. You can usually get him pretty fired up about just about anything. This spans from years of him growing up and being on the losing side of an older big brother and Rob Bell dominating him (JD) and Steve Bell at pretty much every sporting event held on Himsworth Avenue in Powassan, Ontario. At least a solid decades worth of losing, and having an older brother (me) never go easy on him. Lets just say there were never any “participation” trophies handed out on our street like there is today everywhere. You lose, you didn’t get babied. You just learned how to lose, the way it should be. Today, it is likely a lot harder to get JD all worked up; the best place to do this if you are wondering is in the Powassan Family Hockey Tournament.

We have always been pretty close, even amongst the fighting that happened during us just being kids and boys. JD and I went to the same schools, including college and university (for the exact same programs).But eventually JD realized that what I was doing wasn’t what he wanted to be doing, and did his own thing. It no wonder he didn’t learn sooner in life not to follow in my footsteps. Throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties, he saw me in rough shape and all banged up doing dumb crap likely more times than I should have been; and in front of him nonetheless. If there was one thing I think I taught him in that stage of my life, it was to do exactly the opposite of what I’m doing. Which I guess turned out to be a pretty good thing. He not on the darts, has never been a huge partier, he saves/hoards his money, always has nice stuff, and I think likely matured in that sense before me; even being two years younger.

My brother is my hero because he found his own way in life, and decided he didn’t have to live up to anything I’ve done, or not done lol. Don’t be a follower, become a leader.

My brother is my hero because even after all those years of constant beatings in the Bell’s driveway in every sport possible, he still has my back; and will use that temper to attempt to crush others now (thank god). Always be friends with people who will go through a wall or take a bullet for you.

Jd is one of the first (if not the first) people I text or call when something awesome happens, or somethings awful happens because he will either make fun of me, or say something ridiculous to make me feel better. Keep your circle small, and full of genuinely good people.

I love my brother because he decides when he cant keep a secret from me, he just tells me and lets me know that he and his gf are going to have a baby, gets me all hyped up and then says that I have to keep it a secret from my parents for 8 days, and then from the rest of the world for two more months; knowing that ill hate it but trusting I wont blow the surprise. Put your trust in other people, the good ones wont let you down.

I think about it, and maybe he should have been the big brother…the role model…the protector..teaching by example… but maybe it was more fun the way it turned out and he still learned a few things along the way.

I know lots of people who aren’t close with their siblings, and that would be awful. My brother is one of my best friends and has been since I can remember. We have done almost everything together over the years. Who else would I grow up with playing helmets and gloves with and hallway hockey in the house? Who else would I be able to hit into a tree playing football and break their collarbone? Who else would I have to run from swinging a hockey stick at me because he lost a game of street hockey? Who else could I bring out to our cottage to party with my friends? Who else would drive hours in bad weather to pick up their brother to bring him home for the holidays? Or help sneak your dog into a hotel room that you rented that’s not pet friendly, and then scope out exits with no cameras to sneak the dog out? Or a brother who buys you a hockey game ticket, you win the 50/50, and he “jokingly” asks you for a cool thousand and uses having a baby soon as the reason.

My brother is my hero because he is everything to me that I should have been to him from the start. And hopefully now that I’m older and a lot wiser (I hope), maybe I can take over and start to be what I was meant to be. A big brother, and now soon Uncle Adam.

What I should have written back to my brother when I read that text mid journey back to Thompson,MB:

“Thanks for picking me up at the airport and for helping to bring me home. Its the first Christmas that felt like Christmas in a long time for me too. I really miss you all already and really didn’t want to leave. I’m really excited that I’m going to be an uncle; You’re going to be an awesome dad. Will msg when I get home. love you”

Little Brother, Big Hero.

Brotherhoods Our Rule We Cannot Bend,








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