I have vague memories of waiting with my grandmother in a hospital waiting room. I have memories of being given a soft toy, a bear-like sort of animal which must have been bought to appease my impatience. I remember Dad bringing me to see Mum inside the room. I don’t remember seeing him at the hospital, but I remember being at home when my mother brought him home, hence completing our family of 4.
Fast forward 24 years later, and I find myself being thankful that my parents decided to have another child, aka my brother, despite the fact that they must have had their hands full with me.
I am thankful because I could not imagine growing up without the brother. All those hours we spent playing with the old tape recorder, playing the limited computer games we had, organizing “camping” trips of all sorts, going on fantastic “journeys”, having imaginary pets, trying to stay up late into the night just to “spy” on our neighbors in the opposite block… My childhood would have been very different without his fantastic imagination to fuel our play.
And then as we grew older, late night chats until one of us got too tired, outings, doing photography, discussing our ideal lives and partners, talking about philosophy, psychology, the list goes on. Even though we don’t share the same room anymore, it makes me glad to know that we can still talk about almost anything and everything. Things that I can’t or do not want to tell my parents, things that I’m afraid people will judge me for saying, things that can swirl around in my mind, bothering me for days on end.
There is something to learn from everyone in our lives. From him, I learn to be positive. I learn to live life with happiness as a choice. I learn to laugh at myself. Sometimes.
I am thankful that he is someone who accepts me for who I am, with all my weird habits, quirky thoughts and ideals about life and how I want to live, yet at the same time always encouraging me when I need that extra boost of confidence and reassurance.
A few days ago, when I asked whether there is anything he wanted for his birthday, he said in half-jest: “Your safe return…” – which I thought was really sweet ;p
Because your sister is currently an international student on no-pay leave from her full-time paying job, your present this year may very well only be this blog post. But knowing you as someone who appreciates words and writings, I’m sure you won’t mind my heartfelt ramblings as a birthday offering 🙂
Happy Birthday and lots of love!