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To Sean with Love: A Christmas Story

I Can't Put My Arms Down." What movie is that quote from? I'll give you a hint. There were siblings.

We were living in Goose Creek, South Carolina. There is a story. I'll share about it in a moment.

Sean is almost 7 years younger than me. He is the split pea to my melon. By that I mean we're not just apples to oranges, we are even more different than that. He's a guy and I'm a lady. He's a little more introverted than I am. He is right brained and I am left. He thinks first...and well, I jump.

So, we were living in Goose Creek. Sean was probably 3 years old. I remember it was a few weeks before Christmas. My father was stationed there, as he was in the Navy. He was a sonar tech for those that follow along with the military jargon. We were outside while Dad was putting lights on the house. I'm not sure how I realized it, but I pointed out Sean's shadow. He was horrified, and it made me laugh and laugh.

I know it is awful, but it still gives me a little joy to think about it. Of course I was in trouble for making my brother cry, but it's just one of the many memories from our childhood.

What sticks out the most are memories like me and my little Sean-y sitting in front of the Christmas tree with all of our families about to celebrate Christmas and I'm holding on to him for dear life while he again cries! He hated it and of course I loved it...and him.

The idea brings me so much joy. When I think about Christmas, I don't just think about Christmas at my maternal grandparents house in Cambria Heights, Queens, New York or celebrating at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Saint Albans, Queens. I have incredible memories of breakfast and dinner at my aunt's house. I also fondly remember Secret Santa events 10 years ago with my best friend, Diane's family. As I reflect on 37 years of Christmas, I think about my collection of Christmas Barbies beginning circa 1991. My paternal grandmother started gifting them during that time.

But when I think about Christmas as a child, I think about him. He is grown now and this year celebrating Christmas with his fiance, but he will always be my little brother. He will always be my friend and confident. He is wise when I am wild. He is patient when I am not. And he, screaming to get out of my arms, plopping down in my lap, crying because I showed him his shadow, is the vision I think of when I think of Christmas.

I love you, Sean. Merry Christmas.

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