I have a picture of five.
It would have been six.
But that wasn't in the cards, and that's most likely the way it was meant to be. After all, having just seen you virtually for the first time in--let's see, what was it, 1998?--13 years? I'm ecstatic. I'm emotional. I'm perhaps just on this side of a wreck. In a good way. A happy way.
I'd be more specific, but I can't. That's also the way it has to be. For now.
But I have to get it out. I have to write this. There's only so much a person can take of secrecy and silence. Those places in the family photos where you don't get to be, even though you are as close to us--in our hearts, that is--as any of the other five who are in those photos.
To say that you've changed so much in the last thirteen years would be the biggest understatement of the century. After all, you were nothing but a small baby, that day in the hospital. You were housed in a glass box. You were crying, as is the wont of those so young. You were born too early, a trend your younger sister followed you in. And you are remembered at every holiday, if only because the day you entered the world was at the tail end of one. Our favorite one.
And to see you tonight, through a process I couldn't begin to comprehend involving wires, the Internet, light spectrums, and microchips... It's like you are real again. Like you haven't been missing all these years. You showed up on my screen and it was right!
I'll never know what would have happened had the circumstances been different, even slightly so. Hell, I'm not even your parent! But I am your family...
It was so nice seeing you, "nice," perhaps, being the second-biggest understatement of the century. "Nice" is afternoon naps, having enough money to pay the bills, or never running out of iced tea. Those are nice.
Seeing you was phenomenal. And one day, perhaps, I'll be able to share the moment I saw you again in person, face-to-face. I've already decided, the minute I saw the video, I will be there. We will be there.
To welcome you back. We can't--we won't--replace the one's you have known and loved all these years. Not only is it impossible, it would be wrong. But hopefully--just hopefully--you will allow your heart to expand that which you've known, and encompass the one's who had to give you up.
I'll never know what others have gone through. How could I? All I know is what I've felt and known these past years.
And where there were five, there will now be six.
Because you will be there.
And hopefully, we'll never have to let go again.
Much love to you...