to my brother

Dear David,

Tonight is one of those nights where I can feel your absence as tangibly as I can feel the keyboard under my fingers. Other than the low hum of the TV show dad is watching, it’s quiet here at home… just as it always has been. But in missing you, the silence continues to grow louder, if that is even possible.

You know, my entire life has been marked by your absence. You are the reason I am “Rebecca, the only child”. People with siblings tell me they wish they were an only child too. I want to tell them to shut up, to be thankful for their siblings, even if they’re annoying. I want to tell them of the loneliness that comes with being an only child, of the scrutiny, the pressure… I want to tell them of the look on mom’s face when she remembers all that you could have been and all that you are not. But the before the words can spill past my lips, they are overtaken by the reply, “oh yeah, I love being an only child now, I don’t think I could have handled having siblings”.

Lies. Even if I couldn’t handle it, my heart would have found ways to make room for you. Even now if you were to come and disrupt my life as I know it, I would gladly turn my world upside down at the chance to live life as your sister.

Today I am missing you because my future is rapidly unfolding in front of my eyes, and I am terrified. I think of a boat on a river headed towards the sea, and today I have seen the open waters for the first time. All I want to do is paddle backwards towards shelter and familiarity, but the current is urging me forward instead.

I wish you were here. I want to ask you about what it looks like to be an adult, I want to hear you reassure me and tell me that my fears (while valid) are only fears. I want to hear your stories of failure and of how God used them to grow you. I want to hear you tell me that even if I turn out to be a miserable good-for-nothing scum of the earth, that you would still love me… that I would be welcome to freeload in your home anytime I wanted.

But you’re not here, and you never got to live the life I dream for you. I still wonder why God chose me to be the one to live life out here. Why me and not you? Why couldn’t my dad have someone to play golf and bond with? Why couldn’t my mom have a young strapping, talented son that she was proud of? Why couldn’t I have an overprotective brother who would threaten any guy that so much as looked in my general direction?

I miss you and the others. I don’t think you would all fit on my twin bed, but I imagine that on a night like this, we would all crowd around with food and complain at one another. Or maybe you’d all not care and go about your own business… or maybe you’d make me study for the exam I haven’t let myself think about. I’ll never know.

I miss you, David Bernard Verona. I wish you were here. I’ll take care of mom and dad, and I’ll do my best with the time I have here. Take care of the others, if they’re anything like me, they’re a handful-and-a-half. I cannot wait to meet you someday. I cannot wait to feel the embrace of ten people I have never met, but love with a love that can only be explained by our shared genetics.

With all of the love I have and more,

Your Sister ❤

P.S. Could you ask God to get back to me on a couple of things? I’ve been waiting for some answers and I haven’t gotten a reply yet. Trying to be patient, but the planner in me is freaking out.

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