tomorrow my little (6'2", 190 lb.) brother turns 26. which seems impossible, because i think i'm still 26. but i'm....not.
he had a tough 25- lost both grandparents and got rejected from 18 different police departments for jobs. one would think he would give up, but one would be... wrong. he's spending his 26th birthday at the funeral of one of his students who died suddenly last week on the basketball court of an enlarged heart. my brother has changed a lot this year- he's given up his lifelong ideals, that i thought were merely an act of rebellion against me anyway, and become a liberal. there is a god, and i know she loves me solely based on this. of course, it's hard to be pro-bush, even if you are a republican. he's also given up fast food, which his diet used to consist of SOLELY. when he would come to visit, we had three choices of food, since i refused to eat fast food. pizza, hamburgers or burritos. the boy eats sushi
now. get down!
anyhoo, this had me reminiscing with him about my own 25th year, which compared only to 13. the two worst years of my life, without question. 13 needs no explanation, as everyone i know had the worst 13th year. 25, however, was horrific in it's own special
way. i got involved in a relationship that was one of the most self-destructive situations i've ever been in. i developed severe adult acne and dropped a good 15 lbs. of my already-too-thin 135. everything i had been fighting to ignore or deny all my life came up and bit me in the ass, HARD. three of my closest girlfriends lost fathers that year to cancer, and i was there with one of them during the last days. all around me were grief and angst for an entire year. i couldn't put the pieces together, i couldn't find hope, i couldn't see beyond pain. it was an ugly, ugly time that i truly thought would never end. but you know what? it did. and out of it came much deeper friendships, a lot of laughter through a lot more tears, and a groundedness i never possessed before. 25, like 13, ended, and i still stood, albeit wobbly at times. last night, i went to visit one of the friends who lost her father that year at the cancer center. she has melanoma, and was in for a biopsy to see if it's spread. if i stop to think about it too much, i will start hitting things hard, so i just brought some chocolate ice cream and the knowledge that things will be ok. which i just know
they will, because now i am a person with hope. which, at 25, i don't think i was.
so austin (you, dear blog readers, might have seen my little brother on one of MANY dating shows), here's hoping your 26 turns out better than 25. tonight i will fall asleep with a wee bit of hope, and i hope you do too.