More than a few words come to mind when I think of my younger but much bigger brother Bryballs: Funny, Compassionate, Crazy, Unpredictable, Loving, Money lover, Carefree, Loyal, Adventurous, Stubborn. All of these words describe my brother, but they only scratch the surface. He’s so awesome. Anyone who knows him on any level is blessed and better because of knowing him. But beyond all those adjectives he is so much more to me; he’s my first best friend. He’s been my best friend since the day he was born(a year after I was), and I am not exaggerating. The day he was born was the day I received a live-in best friend. Sure we’ve had times where we wanted nothing to do with each other and only drove each other nuts, but those times were rare and short-lived.
I could list off memories or favorite moments but there are far too many to do so. I’ll just say we grew up doing everything together. Learning to ride bikes, playing outside, getting in trouble, learning to swim, shared a bed-time and a bed room until I was 9, almost everything connected to my childhood experiences is linked to my brother. We even had a nickname that referred to the both of us, “The little ones”. Because we were a 2 for 1 deal, inseparable.
When I started struggling with my health, it affected Bry. To an extent he lost his play-time friend. I couldn’t easily keep up with his endless energy and when I tried, I’d pay for it. We were so young that I don’t know how Bry processed this or how it made him feel. I’d ask him but he doesn’t remember very much from his childhood, especially before age 10. That being said I’ll tell you what I do know.
Bry was about 13 when he took the job of my caregiver when both of my parents had to work. When I would be in too much pain to go to school, he would stay home and take care of me. He took on the responsibility without hesitation. He’d bring me food and make me tea, give me my medications, keep me company while watching movies or tolerating my mid-morning habit of watching Star Trek… He’d even carry me to the bathroom, set me on the toilet and stand outside listening making sure I didn’t fall off while trying to adjust all my clothes before and after “going”. He did all this without complaint, I never felt like a burden to him. Although I often felt bad I couldn’t just be a “normal” sister, whatever that is…
We were still best friends through our teen years. We shared friends, experiences and the same form of rebellion. We were thick as thieves you could say… We’d take each others secrets to the grave. Although neither of us really have them anymore as we both enjoy the freedom of being who we are and not hiding anything. Most people know his past, everyone will surely know mine soon if they don’t already…and neither of us care. We are who we are and carry no shame in that. You can take us this way, or find someone else to fit your needs…
The relationship I have with my brother is one of the most special and meaningful relationships that I have, some may say sacred. He has been a constant player in my first hand and my re-deal. He’s aided me usually without even knowing he was. Mostly with his friendship and unconditional love, but also with his strength and wit.
There is nothing I can write to you that I haven’t told you already at some point in our lives, whether in the distant past or just last week. There is nothing I keep from you, good or bad. We have a friendship based on honesty, unconditional love, and a mutual admiration of our individual awesomeness. There is no comparison to what we share as brother and sister, or even as friends. We may live over 4,000 miles from each other but you never feel far from me, from my heart. Thank you for being you and loving me just as I am. I have been doubly blessed to have you as a player in my first hand and an ever-present player in my re-deal as well. You are growing into such an amazing young man as I always knew you would, I’m so proud of you Bryballs. I look forward to the happy day when we can bask in each others’ awesomeness…Tougher Mudder 2012! I love you.