We stand poised to welcome another year into existence and bid an old year farewell. We each have a different reason for celebrating this event. Some are just happy to have the old year gone so they can welcome a fresh start. Others are celebrating having another year to spend with family and friends. And others just like to party.
I've got a somewhat different reason to celebrate. Today is my youngest brother's birthday, so it's his turn to get a tribute in my blog. If you'll remember, my other brother received a birthday tribute back in September.
Sometimes it's hard to remember that he's grown up (he turned 23 today). There is a such a large age difference between us that I can recall clearly when he was born. I remember seeing him at the hospital when he was born, recall when he went back to the hospital shortly after his birth for respiratory problems, remember holding, feeding, and changing him. I remember watching him learn to walk, talk, and comprehend the world around him. I spent hours watching Thomas the Tank Engine with him as he was absolutely fascinated with trains, and suffered silently through the Power Rangers phase.
For a number of years, I served as the stout protector and the surrogate mother when my parents were busy with work. As a result, it was hard to see him as a little brother, but more like a son. It wasn't until I become gravely ill later in life that my all too young brother had begun to take on the role of protector and I was honored by such love from somewhat who didn't understand what was going on, but only knew that his sister was sick.
It was from that moment that I finally saw him as a brother -- an equal and a dear friend. My brother's youthful zeal for life has kept me from growing old. He plunges forward with no fear as he tries new things and attempts new adventures, whether it's playing the guitar or geo-caching or taking the lead role in a school musical. He is my kindred spirit when it comes to video games, music, movies, and just a love of life.
As his older sister, I have tried to open as many doors as possible for him. I tried to expand his horizons and show him how big the world is with opportunities. We been to concerts, the theater, conferences, and various other places as I try to offer the world to him on a silver platter -- hoping that he accomplish the one thing I have: a career that I love more than anything.
So, to my youngest brother, I wish you a wonderful birthday as we enter a new year. I wish you a wealth of happiness and a continuation of your endless energy and love for life. I wish you the world and all that it has to offer. I wish you all the things that you already have: love, laughter, and compassion.
In return, I have to thank you for being my brother. I thank you for your protective, compassionate spirit. I thank you for keeping me young with you as we talk about video games, Batman cartoons, and music. I thank you for your love. I have done my best to return in it kind.
Happy birthday, my brother. Your sister loves you.