Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Brian!

My baby brother turns 21 today. I have the World's Best Brothers Ever and I thank God for sending them to my family.

I remember the day Brian was born 21 years ago. I was in fourth grade, and I already had one fantastic brother, although I didn't appreciate him enough at that time. My best friend Stephanie's birthday was that day, and my mom was in the hospital giving birth to my new sibling. I remember going to the nursing home to visit my great-grandma and telling her the news that my mom was being induced at that moment. Nana and Danny and Great-Grandma and I wondered together, Would the baby be a boy or a girl? How much would our new baby weigh? What would our new sibling be like?

My birthday was the next day, and I loved being hours away from sharing my birthday with Brian Dale. Who could ever hope for a better present than a new brother? I remember holding him and feeding him and taking care of him and now he is 21. I remember the time he was going to run away from home and no one believed him except for me, so I followed him for two blocks as he carried his little old-fashioned suitcase stuffed with his worldly treasures, and then I convinced him to let me carry him back home again. I remember taking him to hockey practice when he could barely stand on his blades, and then watching him skate so fast he melted the ice, years that passed in a fortnight. I remember my grandma coming to visit me at work to tell me he had jumped out of a tree and broken his arm. I remember coming to his school when I was in high school, and teaching his class Spanish two years in a row. I remember his tears when my baby died, and I remember his boyish excitement when he held Max for the first time. I remember his first day of school, his graduation day, his promotion to manager. I remember the smile and spirit gave us as a baby, because he still shares that warmth with us today.

And today we will celebrate his golden birthday, his last, official step into full-fledged adulthood, and all the memories he has given us over the years. Happy Birthday, Bri-Bri. I love you.

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