A few weeks ago, my brother-in-law resigned his subscription to my blog. Since I am notified when this happens, I grew immediately concerned that I had said something to offend him. I called my sister in New Jersey to ask her. She said, “No, of course not! He’s been really busy at work catching up since the hurricane and he just feels so guilty if he doesn’t have time to read it so I told him he could sign on to the website and read it when he has time.” (Have I mentioned we are Jewish? Guilt is our middle name.) I was very relieved. On our trip to the Galapagos, my brother-in-law said to me, “Write something about me!” I said, “If I do, you’ll have to re-subscribe.”
So here it is. Of the eight family members on this trip, my brother-in-law was the only one who did not miss a single activity. He was up at dawn; he hiked, he swam, he snorkeled, he biked, and he toured. As the rest of us were flagging at the end of the afternoon, he hit the gym. Perched on the recumbent cycle he exclaimed, “Miranda, come do this with me! You’ll see, it is SO good for you, even if you only do it for ten minutes.” My rolling eyes did not dampen his enthusiasm. After his hike, his swim, his snorkel, his kayak and his workout, he hit the buffet table with a zest equaled only by my own. He was completely unstoppable.
But these are not the most important things. What struck me for the first time about my brother-in-law, this being the first time in years that I have traveled with him, was his genuine concern and interest in his fellow travelers, the crew and staff of the boat, and the people we met on the islands that we visited. No question went unasked, no person was ignored or neglected and every child was vigorously encouraged. By the end of the trip, this man should have certainly won an award for Mr. Congeniality, if such an award had been offered. In a land of exotic creatures, he was clearly and irrefutably the most human of them all. This one’s for you Michael!