He is my favorite, you know. How could he not be? He was destined to be mine just as my oldest son belongs to the grandmother he closely resembles, my daughter belongs to my husband, and my littlest, Amos, well … he belongs to all of us.
I knew who my favorite would be — or at least, who I hoped he would be — so many years ago, when his uncle died. When he was still but a figment of my imagination.
My brother had been called Adam when he was alive; but when he died, the name no longer had a chance to roll off my lips. And so, my life echoed with the silence, and thoughts of the son I may one day have began to seep into my consciousness. When I did allow an utterance of the name, it came out carefully through a clenched jaw and pooling eyes; a strangled voice that I did not recognize as my own. The days of his name rolling off my tongue easily and carefree were now such distant memories.
Yes, I had said my brother’s name thousands of times, in laughter, jest, anger, rage, tattling, excitement and most of all, absolute adoration. “Adam” had once been as familial as the smell of Coppertone sunscreen or as comfortable as a swim in a not too warm tidal pool. As his baby sister, my place of safety was alongside Adam, and it was exquisite.
And then, it was gone.
In one day, at the end of one year, that whole part of my life disappeared and it felt like maybe it had all been a wonderful dream. Or was this all just a terrible nightmare?
I soon felt so alone. My parents and I stood far apart from one another — our magnetic pull lost and without him, and our relationship now difficult to navigate. You see, he was our favorite too. I knew my parents favored him, and yet I was never that bothered by it. In fact, I adored him just as much. (Plus, it would have been hard to argue that the loud younger sister who had a tendency to be a wee bit annoying would have been awarded that medal.)