He was the very first boy I ever met. And I’m certain my entry into his world was not in his plans. His world was likely just right. Two parents. One boy. One girl. Why, on earth, would my parents want more children, I am certain his very advanced 4 year old mind questioned.
As we grew, it was apparent we were very different. In fact, each of the three of us were our own birds. But to me, it felt as though he and I were polar opposites. He was athletic. I was less so. His mind worked math like it was made to do so. Mine, much less so. He was as competitive as they came, and I was always there for the experience of it all. And he had a temper… while I shed my emotions through tears. I loved him. But I’m not sure I ever thought we’d ever be friends.
He met her. His senior year of high school. And things began to change. He let me hang out with them. I was no longer the chatty, bratty little girl that embarrassed him at his games as I cheered loudly for him without abandon. I got to be around him. And see him smile. And know his heart. And I still loved him. But in a different way.
Then he went to college. And I was sad. Sad to have him gone from our home. Sad to see him growing up. Just when I was getting to know you…
He graduated with honors. Which was all he knew how to do. Every single time he was earning any sort of degree… it came with honors, accolades, free rides. He went onto Law School. And suddenly. I missed him. Like crazy. I didn’t want them go.
Because he was no longer just my brother. He was my friend. And one of the best. My sister. She’d always been my person. But he. He took awhile to become one of my favorite people to be around. Someone I look up to. Someone I admire. Someone I am amazed by. And so proud to be related to.
And cancer. Well. It’s only made me love and appreciate and care for him more. And it’s made it so important to me to share those feelings with the ones I love.
He hates birthdays. He hates being acknowledged. But he loves me. So today. Today I want to publicly embarrass him. The first boy I knew. And wish him the happiest of birthdays.
Because life is too short not to tell the ones you love that you love them. And brother, I love you now. I loved you then. But mostly, I love that you’ve become my friend.
Happy birthday, Matthew. You are one heck of a dad. A brilliant mind. And a joy to be around. I’ve always looked up to you… and not just because you’re taller than me.