If I relied solely on memory as the length of my life, my life started with you.
Memory is a tricky thing. For me, there are snaps and clips of life. For you, there are moment by moment replays.
My memory is jogged by things like my son making an exasperated or indignant face, and I am brought back to you being annoyed that I wanted my doll back and it would ruin your “set up”.
I hear my daughter whisper-yell at her brother that he is wrong and I am brought back to moments of whisper-yelling to stop you from breaking a rule.
Most recently, watching my boy sit at your old computer desk, on a PC, learning to animate 3D images, I can see your jealousy-making long blonde hair hanging into your face, as you lean forward in your seat to bring your face close enough to the screen to see the tiniest detail.
My memories are not always clear – years of chronic illness and medication drop some of my memories into the pit – but my “core memories”, the ones that make up my life, start with you. You crawling into a bathroom, and me telling on you. You climbing to the top of a Baseball back thingy (to use the technical term), and me threatening to tell on you. You tying me up so that I could be “rescued” by the “in the game” version of you, and me bringing a book, because I figured I would be behind the couch for a while. Me bringing you 24 cheeseburgers to your apartment, not understand that at 4:20 you might be a bit hungry. You coming home and surprising me at the hospital the day my daughter was born. You bringing donuts over for the kids to learn that not all hipster donuts had Parmesan cheese on them. You listening to my kids’ stories and actually being interested. You having a semicolon tattooed to your inner arm, so that I could see it, and know that no matter what, before all else, I was your sister and you were my brother, my ally, and my friend.
And now that I have made myself cry, I want to wish you a happy birthday. 36 years ago my baby bruvver was born and I am ever so glad that it was you.
Happy Birthday, Ty. I love you.