It was during college that His position in His family transitioned into the eldest in terms of responsibility. When His father needed someone to help with family issues, he asked Him. He could be counted on to show up and do what needed to be done. His willingness to take on these family responsibilities began a slow slide into where His siblings began calling Him when they needed help. While His father was ill with cancer, He took it on Himself to intercept any problems from reaching His father. During the same time His mother turned to Him when she needed help with some serious issues that her husband would have usually taken care of. This was a very stressful time for His family.
Unfortunately, quite a few family issues cropped up during this very taxing time. He took care of them. Whatever it entailed. However, His family responsibilities did not end with the death of His father, as catastrophes are always looming on the horizon, (and which continue to creep up year after year). The thing that both annoys and impresses me is that His helming the family problem ship has continued far beyond the limits of His ten year stint as the baby who was coddled. If He had a penance to carry it out it was fulfilled a long time ago. He didn't want the position as head of the family, but it was placed on His shoulders by unspoken mutual family consent, and I have watched Him take it on with confidence, tact and equanimity. Somebody had to help with the load, and He put His head through the oxbow.
He bears the yoke...
...one more reason I love Him.