Dear Hugh. Love Jayne.

My mom has to bury her baby sister tomorrow morning.

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This sudden loss has caused me to stop and ponder about a lot of things.

Mainly, my family.

Specifically, my one and only big brother, Christopher Hugh.

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Chris is four years older than I am, so growing up he loved teaching me a thing or two about life.

Like how to stack the deck when playing Uno.

Or how hard you have to push your little sister into a brick wall before she needs stitches across her forehead.

Or knowing the difference between trading one $10 bill for three $1 bills. I thought surely I was tricking him by getting more bills in the trade-off. Maybe that’s why I didn’t major in Economics or Political Science.

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He is the reason I started playing soccer and why I wanted to play the drums. It is because of him that I joined Awana’s and it is because of him I went to a branch of the University of Texas for college. No matter where he would go when we were little, I was usually right behind him or around the corner, in awe of being able to call him my big brother.

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Now that we’re a little bit grown up (he is 27 and I am 23), our relationship is more than just brother and sister. I like to call him one of my dearest friends.

I admire his work ethic and determination to pursue what he loves and to do it well. He will be earning his PhD in Nanotechnology in May. It’s something with DNA, electrons, electricity, big words, long syllables…I think…

I appreciate his knack for technology so that we can video chat as a family when dispersed around the country and the world.

I respect his ability to thrive in his field of science, yet remain a firm believer in Christ, refusing to budge or shift his beliefs based on the people that surround him.

I marvel that he and I are on the opposite ends of the brain spectrum, yet we can love and honor each other in a way that brings glory to God.

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As I watch my mom mourn my aunt’s death, it has caused me to hug my brother tighter, laugh with him longer, and love him even more. So here’s to my big brother. Though we don’t always get along, I think that’s what makes us unique and special, tried and true. May I no longer take advantage of us living this close for now, and may you always know how dear you are to my heart.

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I love you, Hugh.

Love, Jayne.

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