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happy birthday brother

To my brother, on the day commemorating his birth

WAY back in the day

You have no idea what type of influence you hold in my life.  I know I always tease you about being strange and quirky (mostly it’s because you’re a Brock and it’s true) and that sometimes I’m not all that great of a big sister. When we lived together, all was (mostly) well until I hit that magic age of 13 and hormones and insecurities seemed to capture my personhood, not to return it until I passed through the “teen” part of growing up.  And then I moved away and our daily interactions changed into thrice yearly visits for a few days here and there.  It’s been a decade (Yikes!) since we’ve lived in the same place.  A lot has happened-you grew up, you played in bands, you became a musician, you met and married your wife, you’ve recorded records, you’ve played for thousands, you’ve become a man.  A real, solid, Christ-following man.  You’re like dad in that.  You share his integrity.

When I think back to being kids I always remember how creative and confident you were.  How you would come up with all of these imaginary worlds like the amazing adventures of tootie head and bootie face.  I remember the rap songs you and Jimmy would perform while jumping on the bed, the crazy experiments you would perform on Scrappy, and blowing up GI Joe’s with M80s.  I remember hanging out with you at night and you would stand up, stretch and say, “I’mgoingoutsidetocatchsomethingonfire and then I’m going to bed.”  Then you would walk outside and come back 10 minutes later as if that was the most normal thing for a kid to do when he was getting ready for bed.  I also remember playing night games and sneaking you and your date into my Senior Prom even though you were a freshman. I remember eating lunch with you on the back of your truck (RIP) while you were in summer school so you could graduate early and start your music career.  I remember you and Tyler laughing, a lot. I was always slighly envious of your ability to laugh and share that laughter with others. You always knew know what was is cool, long before anyone else did does.  Even now I still call you if I want to know about a new band or movie you think I’ll like.  You are never wrong when it comes to these.

Part of my faulty older-sisterhood stemmed from years of feeling unsure of myself and somehow inadequate, the other part stemmed from the natural relational distance that occurred once I moved away and you tried (unsuccessfully) to convert my room into your dojo within a few days of me going to college.  In my most insecure, teenage-girldom, I remember taking things out on you that were disproportionate to the situation at hand.  I said some things I shouldn’t have and we fought over things that were stupid.  The thing is, even now you always seem so sure of yourself. So committed to what you want to do and who you want to be.  And that sureness is what I so longed to have.  In adulthood I’ve found much more of it, thanks mostly to watching you so adamately develop it over these last 26 years, but I’m no where near the level of sureness you exude.  When you make up your mind about something, there is no changing it.  It’s admirable.  You stick to your guns.

I’m excited to see what the next year holds for you.  Hopefully soon, you’ll be an uncle and you can teach your nephew to be as smooth as Duke Ellington and play basketball like Carmelo.  I also can’t wait to see what types of things you’ll do with your life in your next quarter century.  You and Meredith make such a great team and it’s so, so cool to watch you learn how to be a husband to her. I can’t thank you enough for being the person you are. For being my brother.

Happy Birthday, I love you Mack.