these are the things I long to say to you Tyler:
Today would’ve been your 26th birthday. I know you know that., just stating that for the record, I guess. haha Despite the fact that you are officially a grown man, you are and always will be my baby brother. What’s weird is that I will be the big 4-0 this year. And when I think of that, I realize that I am getting older (that I have always been so much older) but with you I never felt “older” and definitely never felt “old”. We always seem to be on equal ground and you always made me feel like I was so cool, so fun, so young for “my age. I loved that about you!
It’s hard for me to think back on all the birthdays I missed with you through the years. It saddens me that I can count on my hands the number of “Happy Birthday” wishes I sent your way in those middle years of your life, despite all of the opportunities I might’ve had. It’s true we both know that there were extenuating circumstances and reasons why and as an adult looking back on that time you were always so understanding to that fact. You never held that against me and were just so grateful for the ones we were able to share later in your life. I would even bet you have my Happy Birthday texts still on your phone. And there was always that one birthday card (so snarky and big sister-y) that you kept on the mirror in your bathroom. It was the same year I gave you your poem I think. That may be why it was special to you or it might’ve been something else but I know that really counted for something with you and that meant so much to me when I first saw it there amongst some of your other sentimental treasures. It really really did.
Today, in the early morning hours, I lie awake, awaiting the clock to turn to 3:01 am (midnight in your neck of the woods), officially January 17th, so I can send that familiar text your way. Wish you a happy birthday and tell you how super glad I am that you were born. And how even if it goes on for another 50 years, I won’t ever stop telling you that.
Today, I want nothing more than to be 3000 miles away from here, to be with you on this birthday.Today, on this birthday, more than on any other birthday, I want to celebrate with you, celebrate another wondrous year of having you in my life, my baby brother in whom I am so vested, of whom I am so proud. I want to give you the biggest, bestest, tightest, longest birthday hug you ever had. I want to tell you again what an absolutely beautiful person you are; a great brother, a wonderful son, a super friend and loving boyfriend. I want to assure you of what a wonderful husband and what a magnificent dad you will be (and were to Sam, Dallas and Guiness).
And so that is exactly what I am going to do. I am going to tell you all of those things because all of them are true. Your no longer being here with us, doesn’t change at all, in any way, who you were and who you are. Nor what you mean to me and how much I value having you in my life.
Not only does your memory live on with those of us who were privileged to know and love you year after year, but your spirit remains, as well. It only makes sense that we should celebrate the day you came to be into our world. For in doing so, we honor who you were, who you are.
We love you Tyler!
For as long as I am here, it will be my honor to celebrate every birthday with you from here on out. I will never miss another opportunity to let you know just how grateful I am that you were born, that you chose me to be your big sister and how blessed I was to have you in my life.
Happy Birthday Baby Brother!