She really was named after that Elton John song because we all liked it.
We were all sitting upstairs talking about this baby girl growing in Mom. It was Grant’s idea, the middle name. “What about Harmony?” We laughed, even Grant laughed, because we used to listen to the opening of that song together: “Hello, baby, helloooooo,” laughing so hard until we cried. I don’t really know why we laughed–maybe because the echoes sounded creepy and “baby,” well, we knew it was some kind of sexy term of endearment. It made us blush and giggle.
But the name fit and we knew it–Grant was a genius! Dad said, “What the heck? Yes!” We cheered: “Yes!!!!!!”
Yes! Paige Harmony Brock! YES!
:You came into the world and we laughed because we loved you and we loved your name that meant so much because we had all wanted it together.
We used to sit around you and watch you–just you–bright and clapping. We could see how much you looked like us with your blond hair and big eyes. You even laughed and tilted your head like us. Knowing you were our sister–one of our very own–made us feel bigger and fuller. We soaked you in deep.
Sometimes when we’re all together now, talking over each other, our words all over the place, not aimed at anyone, just floating around our ears, I miss the days when we used to just sit around and watch you. Instead, you sit and watch us in your quiet and beautiful way, always thinking about always something we don’t know (maybe things we don’t yet understand). Someday a boy will find you and say what I am always thinking, “A penny for your thoughts?”
Even after so many years of living away from you, I’m still not used to it. (It kinda hurts to think you might not remember how much I loved you.) Sometimes I listen to Elton John and miss growing up in the room next to you, when I could come in and tell you a story, or tell you how lovely you are in your curled hair, how it’s okay to be all of you because every little part of you is so important. I wish I was there to tell you every day: everything you are is needed.
You’re an older sister too, you get it. You get that to love a little sibling is to want them to know in every way that no matter what, no matter what: “I’m here.”
Last time I visited you everyone else played tennis while we bought and ate chocolates (I love how much you love chocolates and baked goods). Thank you for coming with me, for always coming with me. (A pretty good company?)
Thank you for earlier that day, when you went running with me. Remember when you went running with me when you were six? You never stopped. I know you kind of hate running, but you like it because it pushes you (and because you’re so good at it). I like running because I can run with you.
Later that night, when I found your scripture journal, thank you for letting me read it. I read every page, Paige, I read it because I could see even more of how you are–no questions really, you just believe in being good.
While I read, I felt a little bit of how God loves you. It felt big like rain, like stars, like desert, like sky stretching out over mountains.
We’ve known each other the same amount of years, but I’m lucky because I can remember more of them. Like the time I took you on a drive out against the white fields and the purple night sky, just you and me. I was only sixteen and you were only eight and I needed you. We had both moved away from the town we grew up in–the town you were born in, but it was harder for me because I wasn’t as strong as you. You listened to me talk about everything except what I was feeling because I didn’t want to cry. You were only eight, but I think you knew then that sometimes all people need is to know they’re being heard.
Now you’re only a year younger than I was, in a new town with new people in a world that’s much lonelier. I wish I was with you now and you could take me on a drive and I could listen to all your thoughts and pay you in pennies, if you’d let me.
Something you should know, since it’s your birthday: I listened to “Harmony” over and over again today. It is still one of my favorite songs because it really never gets old and it always, always reminds me of you.