I forgot your birthday card, but I hadn't written it yet, so it's ok. This way I get an extended word limit.
Stuart Lind Taylor. It’s your 30th birthday today, and I have known you since before I remember. You (I imagine) were the first person to help me to realise there were other people in the world as important as I was. You burst that only child bubble I lived in, in (most likely) the best possible way, and forced me to grow up and be better, to lead you and boss you into shape, to defend and protect someone else.
I like to imagine once I got over the shock of you, I boasted about you constantly; an extension of me after all, and between the two of us a force to be reckoned with. There’s actual video footage of me not sharing my toys with your curious hands - now, I choose to spin that into a valuable life lesson about pushing hard for what you want, because in the end you did have that one wooden block in your determined grasp. While it’s strange to imagine a world without our third part, Hugh Lind Taylor, that time did exist, and you (probably) taught me some of the most important things about loving someone without wanting anything from them. About good company that comes guaranteed, free of charge.
We’re so glad for Hugh - I'm sure that his arrival taught you the same things you taught me. This short love story I’m telling is almost as much about Hugh and me as is it about you, Stu, because we’re all different bits of the same thing.
We grew up and learned ways to stretch each other’s arms, legs and imaginations - where I bossed you into reading, your bravery forced me onto bikes down hills with no hands, and up trees without thinking about what girls were meant to do. We produced short films and dramatic recreations of Titanic, and you willingly obeyed my direction on countless weekends. You and Hugh were my favourite people to boss.
When I try to remember you as a teenager I honestly mostly draw a blank - that was the time I was facing inwards, and taking for granted you’d appear at the dinner table every night. I’m sure we were both cause for the other’s eye-rolls on more than one occasion, but I’m also sure we co-existed (mostly) pleasantly. With my fiery self, I’m sure this peace was down to you, because it’s the peace we all still find in your company; the peace that holds power, and acceptance, and patience.
Stu Taylor, you sort of amaze me. You’re always there, even when you’re 12 hours deep in night shift, or on the other side of the world on adventures. You’re there with us, talking shit and building the base from which your two (slightly less peaceful) siblings can launch into whichever rant we choose. You let us be exactly who we are, and you love us for exactly that. You allow us to celebrate all the victories you’ve arrived at. We get to hear your stories, to know more and more about you, and it’s treasured knowledge.
I’m biased, but you’re golden, and I won’t be challenged on that point. I keep learning things from you, and when I’m not quite sure about anything, there you are. Setting the earth straight.
Stu Lind Taylor. All three of us share that middle name, the one that used to embarrass me to explain or say out loud. I love that we all have it now - you and Hugh are my best friends and the ones most likely to be held up in the shape of an example by which the rest of the human race are measured.
I really can’t hope for more than for you to know how well loved and admired you are - by me, forever, and by everyone who’s lucky enough to know you. I hope you know, Stu, and feel that love as the world turns to wish you a happy 30th birthday.
Lots of love for all the days
Helen Lind Taylor