South Africa, 1977, was in the midst of a heat wave. We would watch the weather on T.V and then run giggling to my mother, who lay with her swollen belly while an old fan puffed some air at her, to break the news of what sweltering day lay ahead.
This is what I remember of the day my brother was born:
We stayed on a small holding with my paternal grandparents - especially having moved there from town so that my grandmother could help take care of my brother when my mother returned to work. A calf was born the same day and we decided it should be called Valentino. I remember looking out the bedroom window thinking of my new brother and Valentino.
We stayed with my cousins while my mother was in hospital and were given white margarine on our bread.
It was bloody awful.
This is what I remember after my brother was born:
I was no longer the little darling. This bushy haired monster had come and taken all the attention away from me and I was not happy at all! I tormented and subtly tortured him on a regular basis, sneaking into my mom's room once, sucking his arm until the blood rose to the surface and pinching him so he woke screaming. The cat got the blame.
This is what I know now:
That I am honoured to have a brother like this. A man that I love, respect and look up to. I love him and I love that I can talk to him and that he gets me. I love the way I can tell him anything and he does not judge me, but still loves me and always gives good, sound advice. I often forget that he is younger than me, by a good few years. He has a sound head on his shoulders, this special man.
When he proposed to his wife, his mother-in-law gave him some reasons as to why she was so pleased that her daughter was marrying him. One was; "I love the way you love your mother and sisters."
He's a very special man. There are of them still in this world. Believe it.
Happy Birthday, to a seriously awesome human being.