For Rylan

I have just one sibling. But he is so wonderful that I don’t need any others, he is the best big brother anyone could ask for. If you’re a regular reader you might have seen the post he wrote for this blog last week. He is generous and kind, loyal and sensitive, encouraging and loves people fiercely. He is an incredible person who writes poetry, loves tie dye and can’t be quite for more than ten minutes (but I love him for it) and I’m lucky to call him my brother.

Tomorrow is Ry’s 25th birthday (making today his Birthday Eve – yes this is a real thing that should always be celebrated) and despite not bring there to celebrate him in person I wanted to take time to make sure he knows I’m celebrating him even when we are 21,000 kilometres apart.


Something I love about my brother is that he truly embodies qualities and values that he thinks are important. His actions speak so loud he doesn’t need words for you to know how wonderful he is – he shows you. He listens to the stories of every person in the room, he is respectful, kind, thoughtful, and makes people feel so loved.

Rylan is genuine and earnest. I love that he isn’t afraid to be truly himself, he is passionate and enthusiastic about the things that excite him and he is always willing to share his passions with others. I learn something new about music, pop culture, world religions, or the rhyming construction of rap and poetry every time we talk. His presence creates a unique space that allows people to be their most authentic selves because he is willing to be his.

He also teaches me so much about what it means to be creative, loving, generous, thoughtful, to learn new things each time you get the chance, and to be myself. He is funny, he tells great jokes, he knows when you need him to listen, he is patient and understanding, he will have dance parties with me on the beach, he is creative and uniquely himself, he always has a word of encouragement or a song recommendation. He will put up with my craziest requests. He quite simply the sweetest person I know.

He is so exceedingly gracious that I once gave him a homemade birthday card and he said he loved it and our mom later told me I’d written the wrong age on the card – but he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to make me feel bad. And you might think that is a cute anecdote from when we were little kids but it is more recent than I would like to admit. Even on the day that is meant to be about you – he is thinking about other people. He has been teaching me about selflessness and embodying kindness our whole lives.

It’s important to have people to look up to, who you admire as role models in your life and who you can turn to for advice. Finding people in your community who can inspire you pushes you to grow and be a better person. There are so many sayings about the value or surrounding yourself with people you want to become and I believe it really is crucial – which is why I’m so lucky to have grown up beside someone like my brother. I trust Ry to be a confidant, someone to give me thoughtful advice and he’s one of the first people I call when I need a shoulder to cry on. He is encouraging, honest and non-judgmental; but apart from being a great listener he has great advice because he is wise and embodies so much of what I hope to be. I highly recommend you find someone like Ry and hold on to them tight.

Ry, you inspire me so much. I am so thankful you’re my bother. I love you so much I don’t know if these words could possibly express it so I decided to rip Elton John off a little;

I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do

My gift is my blog, and this one’s for you

And you can tell everybody this is your blog
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

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