26 years ago, on this day, my life changed forever.
On the way to The Ottawa Civic Hospital, I begged and pleaded with my dad; he would have none of my 3 year-old politicking however.
I was anxious, but also nervous. I had known for months that this day was coming and I had no idea what to expect. Granted, I was 3 and was pretty short on life experiences. Up until this particular point, I had no memories of being in a hospital.
I had my favourite outfit on: a track suit; it was a big day after all. Yellow zip-up jacket, with Kelly green sleeves, and a moose patch on the left breast. The pants were matching green joggers.
My dad parked the car and we made our way to reception. As I mentioned, this day was a long time coming, so everyone was waiting for us. They told us which room to go to, and we started making our way.
My memory is hazy, but I remember walking into the room and seeing my mum there. Despite her exhausted expression, she had a big smile on her face. She told me to come over closer to her; she could tell I was nervous by my fidgeting.
They handed me a small bundle, my dad close by my side to help me keep it balanced. I tried with one final desperate plea to convince him:
“Are you SURE we can’t name her Oscar?!”
The bundle in my arms, was my new baby sister, Caroline. Born 3 years, 1 month (minus a day) after me.
Over the years, there’s probably been more bickering than cooperation. As the older brother, I was quick to try and establish my dominance over my younger sibling. Despite our quarrels, there have been many fun, beautiful, and precious memories, that I will cherish forever.
Some people have lots of siblings, and that’s great; having a full house can be very loving. I only have the one and for me, that’s perfect. There’s a closer bond I have with my sister, that I wouldn’t have gotten with others around. While we’ve certainly cursed each other’s existence at least a few times over the years, I hardly could imagine growing up without one of my best friends.
As has has been the case over the last dozen or so years, I won’t be there to celebrate with her. It gets harder with each passing milestone, to be so far away. Know, my dear sister, that I love you to the moon and back, and that I miss you terribly. I hope you have a wonderful birthday filled with many laughs, and lots of love.