The day he was born was a rough one for me. I actually hung up on my mom when she called to tell me that I had a baby brother. It never occurred to me that you might be a boy, I was sure I was going to have a little sister named Sarah. Instead I had a stinky brother named Michael. This was my first taste of disappointment.
It didn't take me long to warm up to you. We shared the second bedroom in our small house and I can remember standing beside the crib, looking in through the bars and holding his little feet. Who knew finger nails could ever be that small. I loved to hug and squish him.
When Michael was 3 years old he was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor and given one month to live without immediate surgery. My parents flew to Toronto with him and I lived with my grandparents. The doctors prepared us for possible paralysis and we excepted him to come home in a wheelchair. (He ran off the airplane to meet us at the airport.) At the time I didn't understand the seriousness of this event. I still can't fully understand it.
(Further proof that I am the smart one.) Christmas was the best. Having someone to share that excitement with.. the moment before our parents would give us the go ahead when we both sat shaking with excitement before the tree, counting presents and seeing who got the biggest one. Michael would rip his presents open one after the other and then sit and watch as I meticulously unwrapped my gifts.
There's a big gap without pictures of us because there's a big gap where we hated each other. Hated. Now I realize what a waste of time that was. I carry that regret with me even though my brother has forgiven me for how I treated him. (We're not just talking sibling rivalry here.)
It's taken years but I consider my brother one of my best friends. He's moving to Montreal tomorrow to start his new career at Aerospace as an Engineer and I am SO proud of him! I am going to miss him something fierce and will probably be making the same face that I am in the first photo but I'm excited to see what he's going to accomplish in his life.
The sky is yours Michael, one step at a time.