Musings: Siblings

Today’s topic is: “April 10th is National Siblings Day. Do you have any siblings? Write a post inspired by them.”

I am fortunate to have two wonderful siblings.


In my musing about “Me Time,” I told you about my older sister, Dr. Sarah Kotzur, who is a crazy smart, enthusiastic, and caring naturopathic doctor in Portland, Maine. She runs a successful clinical practice and has published an incredibly useful book about how to improve your health and wellness. If you haven’t bought your copy yet, do it today!

But I haven’t had a chance to tell you about my handsome younger brother, John Wilkinson, who is a sports journalist in Chicago.

One of my favorite “Little Brother” stories is when his obituary appeared online in February 2014. He was living in Los Angeles, covering local sports for the Orange County Register. Jim Romenesko said it best.

John Wilkinson obituary Feb2014

Oops! UK’s Eastbourne Herald grabbed a Facebook photo of Orange County Register reporter John Wilkinson while preparing its obit for “avid Herald letter writer” and Eastbourne resident John Wilkinson.

“My high school buddies and I have a running Facebook chat and this afternoon, one of them sent me this screen capture of my photo next to a story about another writer with the same name passing away,” says the surviving Wilkinson.

The Register reporter was 7 when the picture was taken at the 1997 Rose Bowl. “Maybe the retro nature of it contributed to their mistake,” he writes in an email. “No big deal, but a good laugh for the friends fake-eulogizing me on Facebook and as a joke to email my family and co-workers.”

I continue to wonder why the newspaper would attach the photo of a little boy to a 71-year-old’s obituary. I mean, even if it was the right guy, who would recognize him?

Thankfully, there have been no obituaries for my brother since. He is currently reporting part-time in McHenry County, Illinois. His website includes his middle initial (just for clarity) and you can get up-to-the-minute updates from him on Twitter at @JWilks26. (If you hear of anyone looking for a very talented full-time sports journalist, let us know.)

As a random aside, have you ever been watching the news and wonder which photo would be used if you experienced an untimely death? No? Just me then, I guess. Well, since there will be no mugshot on file (hopefully), I’ve worried that they will dig up some unflattering picture of me with a terrible haircut from years ago. So, in case anyone needs it someday (‘knock on wood’), please use this picture from September 2013. It captures just how happy I was to be joining my life with my ruggedly handsome husband. (Plus I have cute hair, thanks to my talented sister.)

My Obituary Photo


Tell me your favorite sibling story in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook


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