Today is my birthday. My mom always told me stories of how stubborn of a delivery I was. I apparently had a much sooner due date and decided to do things my way... whats new. I turn 26 today, and as telling as that is about how young I am, I feel like I have lived a thousand years. Layers and layers of moments in times squashed together like some kind of discombobulated and abstract piece of art; only beautiful to those who can see it for what it is. Somehow MY birth makes me think of my brother's life and death. I suppose that is paradoxical in some way, or maybe the fact that my birth and existence led to his... I don't know. I feel a little morose and contemplative. Celebrating and mourning all at the same time. Maybe it is the PPD or maybe it is the realization that every year older is a year more I've lived without one of the people who has defined my life most. It is confusing and jarring and beautiful. I am looking forward to this next year in my life: more growth, and joy. Laughing, crying, and living. And I glance backward, only briefly, to celebrate the person who inspired in me this fortitude of 26 years. Isaiah Benjamin Charles Banks, my brother.