Today is your 30th birthday. My hand and my mind had some trouble getting on the same page when I said that. But it’s true wether my mind can comprehend it or not. Like gravity, space and electricity, I don’t have to understand it for it to be true. I am just plain grateful.
My earliest memories of you always involve the pair of us. We had many adventures in our little plot of land near the Columbia river. We’d skip rocks down her spine and climb the backs of giant rocks sticking out like hump back whales. I wonder if I saw them now how giant they’d actually be. I remember one time trying to convince you to sail away with me. Our own Huck & Finn story. We used watermelon boxes and styrofoam cubes to fashion our raft. In those early years you felt like mine. Wherever I went, you followed.
You have always been good at things anything you tried. Any sport you tried. Any tool you picked up. Your more-than-capable-body and your knowing mind just knew what to do. I used to be so jealous of you. Some days I still am. You still get all of his attention. But more than jealousy more than desperation I feel LOVE. A deep seeded affection for my baby brother. I always will.
I wish I could go back in time. I would’ve never stood you up and left you waiting for me on the mountain that day. Wouldn’t have fought battles with you that weren’t ours to fight. Wouldn’t have pushed you around when we were both so low already.
I’ve cried a million times over you. For you. With you. Said my Goodbyes. I’ve visited you in treatment centers..Held your first born..screamed your name.. baked you cookies… bought you boots.. begged you threatened you.. wrote you letters in jail.. wrote you off for good.. forgiven you.. hugged you.. called the cops on you.. there isn’t a place on earth you could go that I couldn’t find you.
And I have learned so much about me through you. Saw the light in your eyes followed by a terrifying darkness: yah its the drugs but those are just the symptoms of a soul out of alignment. Separate. Alone. And so very afraid. I wonder If you’re the same afraid as I am?
I used to wish for you to be locked up. Then we’d at least know where you were. Today I pray for your return. I have faith that you’ll get to grow older and someday we’ll be united. I don’t wait for you by not making plans or living my life. Indeed the opposite is true. I wait for you by living as best as I know how to. Just in case you come around I want the light on. I want the car gassed up and the radio tuned. I wake up everyday and I live to be amongst the living. I plan on wonder. I hope for delight. I ask for peace. Pray for guidance. Hopefully, I’ll stay open. Cracked just a bit to let light in.
I’m gonna wrestle you down the next time I see you Cody Bear. Just for fun. Happy Birthday, brother