Not only is today, November 1st, All Saint’s Day and the first day of Dia de los Muertos (which I read a great post about yesterday on Caleb Wilde’s blog), today is also my older brother’s birthday.
When I look back on our shared childhood, the first memories that arise are shared fears: fear of adults, fear of the phone, fear of the dark, fear of getting in trouble.
As kids, we were so scared of adults that we’d enlist our younger brother to exchange our unwanted Happy Meal toys for the coveted Hot Wheels cars. Our younger brother would toddle up to the cashier, all dimples and smiles, while Khary and I would duck beneath the table or huddle closer to our mom, lips quivering at the mere thought of talking to a stranger.
To this day, Khary and I share a phone phobia, although I am pleased to report that we’re both getting much better (being a journalism major will quell that fear right quick—or drive your roommate mad).
As much as I remember the fears and worries of childhood, today I am reminded of so much more.
Growing up with a lot of fears yields a lot of courage. I once heard a quote that said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
Over the years, Khary has shown me that there are many things more important than fear.
Khary, today I want to say thank you for being you.
For the beauty you’ve taught me to see in the underdog.
For teaching me that different doesn’t mean worse, it could even mean better.
For your creativity.
For your empathy.
For your loyalty.
For teaching me early on the power of words to build up or tear down.
For the times we’ve laughed so hard we’ve cried, making fools of ourselves at Olive Garden.
For the times we dared Cameron to touch the electric fence–and he did it.
For understanding my fears better than anyone else I’ve ever known.
For your example of courage.
The courage to trust me with your heart.
The courage to be vulnerable and real.
The courage to continue, to try again even when the world wants you to fail.
The courage to pick up the pieces.
The courage to grapple with it what it means to be true to yourself.
The courage to suspend judgment in order to build relationship.
The courage to risk authenticity.
The courage to hope that things can look different.
The courage to care.
The courage to love.
Thank you for being you. Happy Birthday and congratulations on your new job! I love you.