Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seventeen years younger ... and, yet

Dear Tommy,

I was just 17 and preparing for the prom with my senior boyfriend the day you came home from the hospital with mom.

For all those years, I had never had a sibling, never had a playmate and suddenly I was a teen-age mother-like person. Of course, I had no real responsibility over you other than to entertain you. I can share this with you now. This does not mean I didn't suffer growing pains watching you grow up.

You were the first person to show me what unconditional love feels like. When you hurt -- like the time you fell in the basement and got a goose egg bump on your head or when you got that raging fever at the beach -- I hurt. When you cried, I cried. It was common for me to play with you on the floor or outside when you were a baby and a young toddler. I remember teaching you to say, "Play ball!" I can still hear your sweet, innocent baby voice perfectly.

When you and mom moved away last year, I was devastated for a trillion reasons; the loss of you being the biggest.

You've changed a lot since the days when you used to stay the night at my house and watch movies and eat good food.

It takes roughly 12 hours for regular folks to get to your house in Georgia from Pennsylvania. But, for my family, with two toddlers, it might as well be 12 days. Just going to the grocery store seems to take an eternity, and yet the time and the money never seem to fall on our side to make a visit work out.

But, when we do you'll be close to 17 years old and this is what I'll find ... A very tall boy who is 17 years younger than I and who still fills my heart with great joy.

I'm so grateful you entered my life, Tommy.



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Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

That's beautiful. You make me want to call my little brother (just a few years younger) right now and tell him how grateful I am for him too -- but I think he'll be grateful if I hold off until later in the day. ;)

Shannon said...

You are a great big sister! As the mom in this situation, it is very comforting to hear your words of love and gratitude.

bella said...

I have a brother who is twelve years younger and it is such a unique relationship.
Mom/sister/aunt/friend. We never had to compete or experience sibling rivalry. I just got to adore him. which I still do.
What a lovely letter. Have a wonderful time when you get to see him.

Anonymous said...

Wow Shawn. The whole world is your family.

InTheFastLane said...

Very sweet. He looks like a heartbreaker.