From birth we all start receiving definitions. I was born and immediately I became “daughter.” Less than 2 years later and I became “sister.” I gathered many other definitions along the way, eventually “graduate,” “wife,” and “mother.” But it is those first two. The way I have been defined the longest: daughter and sister.
I do not know life without being a daughter and a sister.
Those two titles have shaped me at my core.
Someone said at Chris’s memorial yesterday they don’t know Chris without Lindsey.
Well, I don’t think I know Lindsey without Chris.
I can honestly say I have spent a lot of my life loving, caring for and worried about my brother. Even if we didn’t speak every day I thought of him, worried about him and checked on him.
I don’t get to do that anymore.
My mom loves telling the story of when she asked if I wanted to help feed my baby brother. I was so excited. I hopped up on the couch and unzipped the front of my onesie … as she stared at me in shock with a bottle in her hand.
I met him at the hospital after he was born and for the next 17 years didn’t leave his side.
When I wanted to start going on dates at 15 when our house rule was to wait until 16, Chris was with me, seriously. My mom had a brilliant plan that if I wanted to go on a date that young, then I could take my brother as a chaperone. So I did. He would ride in the backseat and my date would have to pay for his movie, dinner or anything else we did.
Sidenote: Well done mom.
In Chris’s last 40 hours we had a conversation and the end of it went like this:
Chris: “I love you, even though you frustrate me.”
Lindsey: “I love you, even though you frustrate me.”
Chris: “Yeah, but I am good at it.”
Lindsey: “That you are.”
Sadly, it took Corymiller and his outside perspective to understand my frustrations with my brother. I wanted so much for him. I wanted better. What I have realized during the last week is it is what I wanted and his life was beautiful and perfectly how he wanted it.
I wish I would have accepted him and his choices sooner.
But I just couldn’t and wouldn’t let go of that big sister title. Even in his last 40 hours I was still telling him what to do. And to his credit, he was still listening to me.
My brother was the sweetest little boy. We had so much fun as kids. We literally were each others’ best friend.
Until I got too old and wouldn’t let him call me “sissy” anymore. That hurts. We won’t get to laugh about that anymore.
Chris has had a difficult life. Not only physically, but emotionally. It has been an extremely tough road for him. He was tired. He was so happy to go home to mom’s house.
I will be forever grateful to all the people that helped to make that possible.
I was with him soon after he joined our family and I was able to be there when he left us being that big sister all the way to the end.
I love you forever baby brother.