I remember this date 39 years ago – my big brother and I were staying at Aunt Chrisann’s house, with six cousins, all older than me. The one specific memory was that of picking blueberries, and this remains the one time in my life I had the joy of visiting a patch of this favorite fruit. But a few days after July 12, we left the berries behind, as Chris and I returned to our house on Crown Hill Drive. When we walked through the front door, I know my things went to my bedroom, but Mommy took my hand and led me to a crib. “This is your new brother, Matt.” I had hoped for a sister, but 39 years later, I know this brother was exactly what we needed. The name “Matthew” means “Gift of God” – that is certainly what he is. (The 3 ½-year-old me wasn’t so certain, but within the next several years, she was convinced.
5 things I’m thankful for regarding my “little” brother:
1. Wry sense of humor – Using just a few words, a sideways glance and a wry grin, Matt can make me laugh like few others. (Really, only my husband competes, but Matt can refer to inside jokes from the past that may not make sense to anybody else. 😉 )
2. He was my best “outdoor exploring” partner! – Matt would traipse with me through the woods, be excited with me about the single yellow trillium that sprouted each year amidst the red trillium, around the brush area that I dubbed “Trillium Garden.” He was quite willing to squeeze into the hollowed out tree to see if there was anything there (only sawdust and darkness), and he and I enjoyed swinging on a giant vine “swing” that had grown between two trees. [When I was in college, Matt did let me know the swing had been destroyed in a windstorm of some sort… it brought on a bittersweet smile, as I appreciated the memory, and that he noticed this and let me know. It wasn’t an area one could see without a bit of a trek through lots of trees.]
3. Biking buddy – I remember he and I biking a mile or two, going to visit an aging church friend, Bruce. It was fun to not bike alone.
4. So much to be proud of – Once he passed those early years, I was always proud of the way Matt lived his life at school, at home, at church… I know he had struggles I didn’t see, but this young man was smart, classy, thoughtful, talented… and more!
5. He is now a great father and husband to a classy wife – and they’re all beautiful, I must add! J It is a pleasure to watch his two daughters grow into young ladies, and to continue to get to know his lovely wife more each year. And they all have something I had wished for growing up… I had wished my hair was blonde, and though I’ve become accustomed to the brunette world, it’s nice to see this in the family.
I hope you’re having a very happy birthday, Matt! Love you!