When we were on vacation all the way back in 1998, when my little brother was only two and I had just had my fifth birthday I did something that would follow me every summer from then on. My Mom was reading her book on her towel, and my Dad was laying out next to her. When my Mom looked up, she didn’t see my brother and I. Her first instinct was to panic. However, as she looked around on the beach she noticed my little brother and I sitting just down a ways. The waves were rolling beautifully and there we sat, my arm around him protectively. My Mom grabbed her camera and took a candid picture of the two of us sitting on the beach. And every year from then on, without fail, we re-created the picture.

Today’s my little brother’s seventeenth birthday. You are a senior in high school, and now tower over me. You can pick me up and throw me over your shoulder without breaking a sweat. You may be bigger then me, but always remember that no matter where you go in life I will be there to protect you.

Happy 17th Birthday, TJ! I love you!

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