31 Letters in 31 Days: Letter 10 – Dear Sam

Dear Sam,

You won’t remember when we used to swing you over the stairs, in your little baby swing thingy. You used to laugh so loud. I was amazed such a noise could come from something so tiny. If it would have broken, you would have toppled to your doom, but it never did. I remember inspecting your small, soft head for cradle cap, in the light from the front room window. The stuff fascinated and disgusted me in equal measures. You were always spindly and fast, able to outrun the bullies that hounded us and make a real impression in Knock a Door Run. You don’t remember a lot of things from back then nowadays, or I like to think that you pretend not to remember things, like when we climbed Roseberry Topping, all six of us, and you ate a Refresher bar at the top, and looked through the army binoculars Little Granddad gave you. Your blonde hair started to get darker when you hit double figures, and life too, went behind a cloud for awhile, as school started to suck, bullies became older and nastier and the family genetics kicked in with all its nasty little ‘treats.’ When I became ill, you didn’t know what was going on. You were too young to understand why I wouldn’t eat or smile or talk. I am sorry you had to come to those ‘family sessions’ that invited upset, irritation and anger. But you did contribute to my book; you posed for pictures and gave your opinion, even though it wasn’t easy at the best of times. And for that I am eternally grateful. You’re the last of us four kids that turns twenty, and I bet that’s been weighing on your mind a fair bit. It isn’t as bad as you think it will be though, I promise. I know fine well that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin, with anything, but begin you must. As much as I’d love to say you have all the time in the world, the world can’t wait for you, it needs another bright human being to come out from behind the curtain and give what he gives best; understanding, compassion and laughter.

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