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    It’s been about five years since I’ve seen or heard from my only brother. He’s two years younger. We had no sisters and were always very close. For years after retiring he and his wife lived in a campground in Bull Head City, Az. But they eventually moved back nearer our hometown to Peoria, Ill the next city north. Since we now live in North central Florida we only saw them every few years but kept in contact over the phone and internet.
    ---After many serious surgeries he seemed to change and get very hateful. He’d swear and say none of the family cared about him. We never stopped to visit when he was in the hospital or called him. This was true. However we didn’t know he’d had medical problems and he’d moved, changed phone numbers, and no longer kept in touch with family. Even his only daughter no longer answered letters or phone calls. Still somehow it was our fault we lost contact!
    ---Around five years ago we stopped at his Peoria home to visit. Signs on the door showed the house was reposessed. When we went to his daughter’s place a mile north someone else was living there. When my aunts tried to contact Ivan he would get mouthy to them and repeat no one loved him. Then his phones were disconnected. I gave up trying to find information about where he’d gone. I assumed he and his wife moved back to Bull Head City or near there. They loved the location and were addicted to gambling across the river. Also a large VA hospital was near.
    -----I supposed it’s been at least two years since I or any relatives attempted to locate my brother. We figured the worse since he‘d had so many surgeries.  Making it more difficult we no longer had our land line and he didn’t know we even had cell phones. At least five years ago I remembered his computer was ruined by lightening twice. Apparently he never replaced it the last time.
    -----Today we’d spent Christmas with our youngest son, girlfriend, and her family. It was still early when we were ready to pass our good friends home near ours. Their cars were both home so we stopped briefly to say hello. Two hours and some homemade Christmas cookies later we were discussing families. Neighbor June asked about my brother. June is one of those people that gets inquisitive. She said she can find Ivan. Off she went to her computer. After several dead end searches she came up with my brothers first through last known locations. But only the cities. We didn’t know if this last location was where he is or where he had been. It showed Bull head City, Az. This could mean he once lived there years ago or is there now. The gimmick with these search sites is to find out the final information you must sign up and pay. One thing we did find out was it did not show my brother as deceased. From what June said this normally shows.
    ----Okay, another dead end. We went home and I called the kids in Illinois who were all having a Christmas party at the oldest son’s place. Our daughter and family. Our second son and wife, and oldest son’s best friend and family. Sort of our other unofficial son. This was the second time today I talked to the kids. This time I mentioned I had tried once more to find my brother.
    ----It wasn’t thirty minutes later when our phone rang. It was my brother Ivan. He’d called our oldest son immediately after we’d talked. They’d talked at least thirty minutes. Of course I assumed somehow friend June located my brother and either emailed or called him.  No, my brother said. No one called and he no longer has a computer. He said since it was Christmas he was just thinking of the family and me, his older brother. We talked for a long time. Found out he’d recently had more surgery. He joked and said he is doing okay but just has less parts. Said his wife is also doing well. He was in a much better mood since we last spoke. He did mention he’d tried calling our home phone off and on over the years. He realized it was disconnected. The part that still puzzles me is he knows our address and our kids’ phone numbers. Also his daughter still lives within 15 miles of our three kids. He could have contacted us.
    ---All of that no longer matters. I actually thought my younger brother had died. He had cancer and several serious surgeries. He now realizes we had no idea what he had gone through. Especially when I mentioned I had both hips replaced, later died of heart failure, and knocked an eye lens out. He never called me during any of those times. Like me not knowing about his problems, he had no idea either.
    ---Knowing our three kids and their families celebrated Christmas together and us spending Christmas here with our youngest son was Christmas gift enough for us. Finding out my younger brother is alive and well just made it even better. We no longer have  a tree or decorate. We no longer exchange gifts. But we always have a merry Christmas. This one was even merrier.
    ---No matter how you celebrate or what you believe in, believe that there is someone watching over you. For years my wife and I have believed in angels. Whether we are psychic, it’s karma, there are angels, a God, or just dumb luck, we’ve been blessed.

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