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Tuesday, April 18

RIP Billy

My baby brother would have been 48 today had he survived his adolescence. He left this world in 1979 exactly 2 months shy of his 21st birthday. It tore me apart.

What did I learn from his death?

Children watch their parents very closely even when it appears that they aren't paying any attention. Children may see their parents pour a martini every time there is a semi-crisis, or see their parents have a few highballs each and every night and watch their parents get rip roaring loaded and laugh the night away when they are with their grown up friends. Kids notice this stuff. They learn how to handle their problems from their parents.

It doesn't matter where you are from or what social class you belong to. It doesn't matter if you live in a high class town where social life revolves around the clubhouse at the links, where all the daddy's make a great respectable living and mommy's shop while their husbands are at work, where public education is tops and the children are offered scholarships at the best universities or daddy pays for you to go to an ivy league university even if you're a so-so student, where your daddy's can always buy a judge or hire the best lawyers or the best child psychologists. Never assume that all our kids will be smart enough to be repelled by our stupid behavior and not emulate it.

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