Today Kyle turned 22, and running through my head as he was opening his present was “you should be here, standing with your arm around me here, cutting up cracking a cold beer”
Yes, I know he wasn’t drinking age, but it fits, they were brothers. He should be here, watching Kyle open his presents, busting him about something and just generally riding him the way brothers do. There are times that I can go through my day compartmentalizing the grief so it isn’t front and center. The holiday season and Kyle’s Birthday is not one of those days.
Connor should have been here for all of this, Christmas this year, then 4 days later when we laid Grampa to rest after 91 years. He should have been the one celebrating New Years with Jordan and busting me because I didn’t make it to midnight.
My father in law used to tell them that he and his brother never fought, usually when my boys were at each other’s throats. Kyle and Connor never believed it, and I’m not sure I do either, but what I do know it my boys loved each other. In a way that only brothers can, whether it meant keeping secrets from Mom and Dad, or just confiding in each other about things that only brothers can. They shared a bond and a love that brothers have, a bond that is different from the one that I had with Connor and the one I have with Kyle.
It is a bond that Kyle won’t have with anyone else (sorry to any of his great friends). No one will replace his brother, no one will bug him and pester him like Connor did, no one will get under his skin like Connor did, and conversely no one will love him unconditionally like his brother did.