T11 424 - Kentucky...

I was about 6 and a half. He was 9. We were trying to think of games to play in the backseat of the van on our family vacation that summer. So we decided to see who had the best memory. As an eighteen wheeler passed by in the other lane, we looked long and hard at it's license plate. T11424 -Kentucky. Ok, we thought... we will see who can remember this the longest.

Twenty years later .... Neither one of us has ever forgotten.

That is how most of my memories are with him. They will never leave my heart.

A Letter to Taylor, My "Brosis"

Taylor, If I had the chance to go back in time and make our childhood so that we had other siblings, perhaps another sister for me to play dress up with, or another brother, so you could play baseball without someone who would always quit after their turn at bat ;) ... I wouldn't do it. Not for a second. I have always felt so incredibly blessed to be as close with you as I am. We have been best buds since I can remember being alive. You have always given anything for me. I know you would give the shirt off of your back for me. Those home videos of you and me running up the driveway to meet each other after you got off the bus, and I take your lunchbox and carry it for you ...that is how I will always think of us. I'm always really excited when I know I get to be around you. Why? Because most of my favorite memories have you in them.

Thank you for always wanting to protect me. You have always sacrificed so much. I don't know another single little boy who would scratch their new guitar to keep their mischievous little sister from getting in trouble. But you would. That is the kind of heart you've always had. I wish that when the whole world looked at you, and your tough exterior, they could see the you that I get to see.

I'm proud to be your sister. I'm proud to know that you will always be the person I will call when I need to know who sings that stupid song stuck in my head... and you'll know it. I'm proud to know that you've never changed your core, who you are and where you came from. I'm proud to know that my children will someday have a blast around uncle Taylor and they will love you with all of their heart. Just like I do.

You have helped shape who I am in a lot of ways. Whenever I was sad and confused, you were always right there by my side. Remember that time when you were trying to cheer me up and so you told me how mad you get when you walk in a room and try and flip on the light switch, but you miss? And then you try again and miss and you get so angry? That makes me smile just thinking about how hard I laughed. And how much better you made me feel. You always had a way of doing that. There wouldn't be enough blog space in the world for me to remind you of every time we've laughed together. But they are all in my heart. I just can't imagine how sad and lonely my life would have been, without you as my brother. I am incredibly lucky.

And how perfect, does this letter end ... but for you to call me as I'm writing it, and make fun of me because I am crying. And then you make me laugh again. That is typical us. That is just the way I want to leave it. As another story I can someday tell... I love you, Bear.

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time."
-Clara Ortega
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