October 9th is a special day in my life. It’s my brother’s birthday.
I think that most people who know us would agree that my brother and I, despite being almost polar-opposites, are exceptionally close. For a long time, it really felt like it was the two of us "against the world". My parents had divorced when I was quite young, and my mother worked full time in a very high pressure job in one of the most demanding fields there is. My father relocated to Edmonton which was a four hour (or five hour, depending on road conditions) drive away. Antoine and I were often left to fend for ourselves.
We had our share of sibling rivalry- sometimes even pushing this term to extremes. Our world had just fallen apart and we didn't know how to cope with the extraordinary changes happening all at once. Yet, even through all the rocky times, he was my protector and defender and I knew that no matter what happened, he would keep me safe.
Somehow, through the years, the rivalry slipped away. Despite our rough patches along the way, our sibling relationship evolved into one of the most beautiful friendships I could hope for. We tell each other everything- or at least as much as would be appropriate to share between brother and sister- and we are always there for each other through thick and thin. And despite being intensely different people, we somehow understand each other and balance each other out. Our relationship is, in my opinion, a perfect blend of 'family', 'friend', and 'counterpart'.
And today he turns 34. Wow.
When did we grow up?
It feel likes yesterday that we were still a couple of children playing kick the can in the park. It's incredibly hard to believe that it's been over 20 years since those days were over. They remain, in many ways, some of my happiest memories of all time.
Antoine will have his work cut out for him if he plans on trying to top "33". This really was his year.
At 33, he proposed to and married to the woman of his dreams.
At 33, he learned he was going to be a father and he witnessed the birth of his child.
At 33, he solidified his career, transitioning away from being a corrections officer and finally becoming one of Edmonton's finest peace officers, an Alberta Sheriff.
33 was the year that everything fell into place for him.
And I could not be happier or more proud.
Allow me to assure you that there is no person on the planet more deserving than the kind of happiness that has found Antoine at the age of 33.
So this year, my “happy birthday” truly is about celebrating the year that passed. And what a year it was.
Can he top it? I hope he tries, and succeeds!
Bonne fete, Antoine. Thanks for always being there for me.
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This is post is part of the October Thanksgiving Challenge. I will post a new Thank You blog post every day during the month of October. I encourage you to follow Kevin, the mastermind of this challenge at www.kevinolenick.wordpress.com and fellow blogger Natasha at www.naturalurbanmamas.com. And, if you're up to it, consider doing your own challenge, big or small, to remind yourself to focus on the many blessings in your life. I've also added a slight 'writing' component to this month's challenge: No posts are to exceed 500 words.