I don’t typically do things like this, but since my brother is getting married on Friday, I thought it would be appropriate to share some thoughts I have on the relationship my siblings and I have shared and continue to share.

I never thought that the relationship that my brother and sister and I share was all the unique, until I got older and saw how other siblings talked about one another and interacted.  Now, I’m not saying that we didn’t get on one another’s nerves (anyone remember when Mark punched that window because Kelly and I wouldn’t come see him ride his bike without training wheels?).  However, there are certain experiences that shape you and allow you to build such wonderful relationships with your siblings that many fail to understand.

My brother, sister and I share experiences that we would never even speak of to anyone but each other.  When you go through hard times, you really have no choice but to embrace the only people that truly understand.  When you start to realize that no one else gets you the way your siblings do, or that they don’t want to believe the things that are going on in your life, you begin to cherish the unique bond you share.  After all, they know things that no one else should ever find out!  😉

Although I certainly wanted to have control over my brother and sister  (hence my creation of the Vacation Club, the Christmas Club, the Christmas plays and every single other group imaginable that would allow me to be president and order them around) I realized in the end that it was Mark that actually ended up leading us.  Through his faith, his committment to working hard, and his fortitude through the hard times, I’m almost embarassed to say he’s my little brother-after all, he’s light years ahead of us at times when it comes to some things.  It’s amazing to see how far he’s come, despite some of the obstacles he might have faced.  I mean it when I say, no one works harder than my brother!

It is for this reason that I chose to have my brother walk me down the aisle at my wedding.  Although this decision came with some controversy and many thought it was disrespectful, it was a choice I felt comfortable making.  My brother has been like a father figure at times, and who better to walk me down the path to my future than someone who knows my past almost better than I do.

Mark, you truly exemplify to me what it means to be a son, a brother, and now, ultimately, a husband.  The way you supported Mom all those years when Kelly and I were away is invaluable to us.  Just knowing you were there to take care of things  was enough.  All our lives you’ve given us the confidence to move forward with thing, as we know you’re right there behind us every step of the way.  We hope that as you embark on this journey with Pam, we can provide the same kind of love and support to you as well.

We love you!