36 years ago today, a baby boy was born. Seven months later, his parents realized he was going to be a bit more than they could handle, so they did was any two reasonable human beings would do; they got him a toy. As it was, they were to broke to afford a new toy, so they got busy making him a new one.
16 months after that boy was born, his new plaything was ready. They brought it into the living room to show him, set it down on the brown shag carpet, and he reached down into the seat they had it perched in, grabbed its bottle, whacked it over the head with that bottle, and so began life with Eddie and Shannon.
My brother and I have very different strengths and, as it turns out, the exact same weaknesses. Maybe it's because those weaknesses were beaten into us, whereas our strengths were merely exploited to be used against each other. What a person can only learn through time, however, is that when you play up the strengths of two children for your own amusement in an attempt to pit them against each other on the basis of those strengths, you may bend them a little and you may even slightly break them, but in the end what you'll be left with is two adults keenly aware of just how awesome the other one is. Talk about your classic back-fires, Batman.
In an attempt to rip the two of us apart, they ultimately had handed us a rope with which to tie our hearts together. It was a long, hard road we both walked, very much so alone, to get to the place we are today, and as time marches on we're coming to learn that we actually walked pretty much the same path, just at different intervals. We both picked up different tricks along the way, found varying joys, making the two of us, today, to be each other's yin and yang. We complete each other from a distance, we're learning to try to understand and to accept and to share this life with each other.
I, who am damn near incapable of forgiveness, could forgive my big brother anything. He, who is damn near incapable of holding a grudge, can feel just enough indignation on my behalf to validate my nightmares. And sometimes, I think, we really near our nightmares to be validated, and we sometimes really just have to learn how to let shit go. I think we're learning that from each other. I think our cups can be so filled with pride for each other that all the pride can spill over into our own laps, and for small moments in time, we can realize how far we, personally, have come.
36 years ago today, my mirror was born. I look into it's reflection all the time, searching for my face behind his, hoping to chart my growth in the shadow of his. They say I was made for him, because of him, but what they don't know is that he was something they gave to me and no matter what they did wrong, giving us to each other made all of those wrongs right in the end.
I loved you this day
And I love you today. And I always will, forever and ever, amen.