It's a bittersweet day.
It's sweet because it's Christina's birthday, and I was blessed beyond measure when Eric married her, gifting me a dear beloved sister.
It's bitter because it's also Brent's birthday, and we miss him dreadfully.
On August 22, 1979, (when I was nearly eight) Brent came into the world.
He was blessed the day I was confirmed, and I remember being very proud of all the time we took up in Sacrament Meeting that day. (I was also very proud of the cute dress my mom had made me, but that doesn't have much to do with this blog post.)
I loved my little Brown Bear. He got this nickname because unlike me, Chad, or Matt, the kid had some melanin in his skin. And his smile could light up a room. I remember putting makeup on him when he was four or five (sorry, Brentie) and deciding he would have been a darned pretty girl. He was always a looker, with makeup or without.
Brent's birthday became something of a family joke. Despite evidence to the contrary (parties at Knott's Berry Farm, for example), he liked to complain that most of his childhood birthdays were spent in the car traveling home from family camp. Although this was a highly exaggerated claim, I definitely remember one year we cut up a small store-bought cake at a rest stop somewhere in California.
But Brent's birthday got a shot in the arm when Christina married Eric. We loved that she had a twin birthday with Brent, and they celebrated their birthdays together for many many years when they all lived in California.
Christina is amazing. She is funny, she has a great eye for design, she is a really good mom to four really intense kidlets, she loves my brother so much, she is loyal. She loves animals. She is faithful to a degree I admire immensely, even when her faith comes at a great cost. Her laugh is infectious. She is silly. She is giving. She is kind. And she is an excellent listener.
Today was not an easy day for her. I am so sorry, Christina. I know that we all wish circumstances were different. I will say again, though, that I am so glad you share a birthday with Brent. This day will now continue to be a happy day, because we get to celebrate the day you came into the world. And that makes this world a much much better place.
So here are some pictures of my beloved birthday twins. And no, Christina, I did NOT post the Hungry Hungry Hippo picture. But oh, I was sorely tempted.
First, here is Christina:
And then, here is Brent:
I'll admit, going through these pictures of Brent was harder than I thought it would be, especially when I got to last August 22. I was with him last year for his 30th birthday. It was a great day. Mom loved to tease him every year with the trick candles that don't blow out. We played Big Boggle (and he beat us all, as expected), he played with my kids, and man, I just wish I could have a re-play. I'd love to go back and soak up every single second.
Happy birthday, Brentie B. You are so loved and so missed. There's a big hole in our hearts without you here.
And happy birthday, Nina. Thank you for being my sister. We love you bunches and bunches.