I knew every sound in that house. I knew which floorboards creaked as you walked up the stairs to wake me every morning. I knew the sound of the news, or the kettle whistle, as you silently started your day. I knew the exact time you would be home and how long it took to microwave the perfect bag of popcorn. It was a routine that I became accustomed to; a bowl of popcorn to share and a cup of tea each.

I grew older. My routines changed, but I always knew the sound of floorboards when you made sure I was up for work. I knew the sound of your favorite show when I would get home in the evening and silently end my day. I knew exactly where I was standing in the kitchen when you told me how proud you were of me.

Still, I worried that the routine I loved was lost. I never realized that I had something much better. See, my life was filled with routines. Every morning I left, every evening I came home, every Marvel movie that came out in theaters: there you were. When everyone else was absent, you were present. You still are because you didn’t just give me routines. You gave me the space to be an individual and, yet, provided me with pieces of you. You gave me an arsenal of memories. You gave me a distinction of home.

All that I am, and all that I could ever hope to be, is because of you.

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