Celebrations of Life: Birthdays

I’ve always thought that having a twin would be really neat. Sharing life experiences and seasons together has always sounded fun, and I probably would have tried swapping places if I’d had a girl twin. Don’t want to go to art class today? Let’s swap, and you can go to science for me.

So I don’t have a twin…exactly. My brother and I are a few years apart, but our birthdays are only separated by four days, so we always celebrate them together. I’m not always one for traditions, but this particular tradition is very special to me. I’m sure that some years we’ve had grander celebrations than others, but the most important thing is that when I think about all my birthdays, Ryan was right there celebrating alongside me.

Growing up, Ryan and I were never really in competition with one another, which is surprising because we share so many of the same interests. Part of this is probably because we are girl-boy siblings, so even when we were doing the same things, they were still different, too. We love music, but we play different instruments – that kind of thing.

We’ve always gotten along well, too, and sometimes when this subject comes up, people suggest that it’s because we’re somewhat far apart in age, but I know better. It’s how our parents raised us. I can’t explain it well, but somehow mom and dad helped make our relationship one of friendship. I’d say their relationship played a huge part in this. We never watched them argue or fight, so I guess Ryan and I just didn’t think that was an option either. There’s much more to how they made this possible, but you’d have to talk to them. To me, it’s magic.

For as similar as Ryan and I are, we are a whole heck of a lot different, too. For example, we share the same sense of humor. Like when we play Apples to Apples, we get aggravated at picking each other’s cards – haha. Ryan’s way funnier than I am, but I like to laugh, so that’s convenient. But Ryan sees the world in black and white while I get captivated by grays sometimes. Good or bad, he makes decisions quickly, and I take my sweet time. He procrastinates (he’ll tell you about that sometime…), but he’s much more laid back than I am. He’s a math wizard, and I read a lot of books. 🙂 Our similarities bring us together and our differences help us balance each other.

Having a brother, specifically my brother, wasn’t something I knew to ask for, but he was something God knew to give me. I admire the person he is and the choices he’s made. I’m thankful he has my back, and he’s always been my best friend. I’m also grateful he married my now sister-in-law who is my other best friend. I tell people that it’s like I have this best friend who happens to be married to my brother. It’s wonderful.

So what does any of this have to do with you? I hope this makes you think about the people in your life who you cherish, who are there for you, and who have been there for you. Don’t take this as siblings are the end-all-be-all. Sometimes relationships don’t turn out the way we’d hoped. And sometimes what we hope for isn’t what we end up wanting anyway. Maybe you desired a loyal best friend or a close sibling or a caring husband. But maybe instead you were gifted a husband, sibling, or best friend. Cherish the people who choose to be loyal, who choose to be close, and who choose to care.

Birthdays are a celebration of life, and they’re a reminder that we’ve been given another year. Who are you celebrating life with? Are you making the most of your time? Are you recognizing gifts God gave you, even when you didn’t ask for them?

And to close, here’s a few pictures for your enjoyment. Haha! 🙂 Happy birthday, Ryan Alan!







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