Most people think I’m the eldest in a brood of four. I’m actually the second child of 5, because I have an elder brother who died at birth. Four years my senior, my parents had named him Silvano. Tomorrow would’ve been his 44th birthday.
All I have of Kuya are the pictures showing him in his tiny white casket. One picture shows my Dad looking down at him in grief. He would’ve been a very handsome boy. He had the fine features of my brother Abril but more doll-like.
There was a very vivid dream from a long time ago where I “saw” Kuya alive.. all grown up, older than me, walking what looked like a college campus stairwell, talking to me. I had cried while talking to him because I knew he was dead, but there he was, in front of me. I don’t remember the circumstances in my world then, or when exactly that was — I just remember the feeling. It has never left me.
It reaffirmed a bond I had really never forgotten although he was never physically a part of my world.
Sometimes I can’t help but think how different my world would’ve been if he had been around. I wouldn’t have had to take up the cudgels of being the eldest child. I would’ve had someone to “fear” or be wary of, so many what ifs that will forever be just points to speculate about.
I never knew him yet feel I know him so well. Happy 44th birthday, Kuya..