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Dear Alex:

Dear Alex:

I wish I knew better who you have become. Our paths diverged at a time when both of us were discovering ourselves, and finding the common ground to come back to has been a challenge. While we have the same background, and some of the same interests, our daily lives bear little resemblance. In the long run, that's as much of a gap as anything else.

I think by now that you realize that as we grew up, I was just as envious of your talents and abilities as you were of mine. You had the typical younger sibling's reactions to the older. But you also had all the things that I truly valued and did not have for myself: musical talent; acting talent; the ability to make friends easily, and to stay friends. You may have chosen your interests based on mine, but you excelled in a way I never could.

Throughout the difficult years, you were my ally against the enemy. Of course our parents aren't really our enemies, but it certainly seemed like that sometimes. Probably it always does. And it was a great comfort to have someone to turn to for a sanity check.

There are things we did that you understand that would take a great deal of explanation for anyone else. Like "flying" through the living room. Like playing football with an airplane. Like why we could blame Jared's shoes for anything that went wrong in the house. And while we fought, as all siblings do, sometimes literally tooth and nail, in the long run the good outweighs the bad. The distance that grew between us was not your fault, nor was it because of our own conflicts.

Sometimes, you spurred me on to do things I would not have on my own. It would never have occurred to me to try to climb onto the roof. Even thinking about it now makes me tremble in fear. But when you and Rob climbed up, I followed. Unlike Cindy's bunk bed, I even managed to get back down again. If I ever need to climb onto a roof again, I know that I can.

We are learning to be friends again, and getting to know each other. I believe that if we lived closer, we would do it faster. I look forward to a lifetime of knowing you.