This has been one of those rare weeks when all things seem to just click. I’m grateful. I’ve needed a week like this. One of the perks of having sweet sailing, is having an abundance of material from which to draw inspiration. But, you know me… I am overwhelmed and unable to narrow it down.
At the beginning of this week, I thought I would write something nice to my nephew and soon-to-be niece. Then yesterday there was the amazing, though tenuous, reconnection with three young ladies I’ve tried to reach for years. One friend blessed by the prayers of my son, another with the unquenchable thirst and powerful testimony of a new believer. That’s just the beginning. In other words, I’ve been blessed in many, many ways this week. All of these gifts I store up in my heart for the weeks that inevitably challenge me. But tonight… tonight I am happy; I am experiencing the high of a prayer realized, a dear friend saved, the union of two precious souls, the anticipation of a much desired little one, and the balm of a connection in memory of a good man. (There’s one more, but that one is just for me- we all need a tiny sliver of heart reserved for hope.) So, I’m falling back on my gut instinct this week. This one is for my baby brother.
(I can’t even start. Hang on. Okay…)
At four years old, you spun some of the wildest stories I’d ever heard. Once, you killed a wolf in the backyard, with only a rope, just so I could get back to my car alive. You licked my face every time I went to leave and ran away giggling when I couldn’t catch you. I fell for it every time. You climbed trees, satellite dishes, utility poles, and up my back with a fist full of my hair. Your earliest career goal was to be the trash truck driver. Your flashlight didn’t work at your preK graduation, and you lost all thought trying to bash it back into the ‘light’.
You had the usual teenage angst… wild country boy, big dreams kind of life. You were hard to keep up with. Then when Pa died, quickly followed by Meir, you were there. I remember four faces at Meir’s funeral. Yours was the one with almost as many tears as my own. In all the months that followed, every time I was in town, you made a point to talk to me, offering to help.
You were the first to attach to my son. When the Great State decided they knew best, and moved him again, you took it the hardest; before his adoption was final, you were the one to tell me, “You better make sure you keep him this time, because I think I love him.” When I got sick, you didn’t let a week go by without checking in, trying to feed me all manner of wild game, and giving me the whole bowl of chocolate icing. When we moved, YOU were the ONLY one that had the nerve to tell me how stupid I was. When I came back, you were the first one out to see me. You’d worked all night. That same day, you and Daddy insisted I sit and talk to Grandmother.You were the only one of us that could hold company with Grandmother. It was the one time in at least fifteen years she told me she loved me.
I know you struggled with your faith for awhile. It wasn’t me that redirected you. It could have been, but it wasn’t. During the struggles, you found someone. Two someones, actually. And even though I’d seen your heart on your sleeve for years, I was amazed to see how easily you embraced the role of ‘Daddy’. Now you are a Daddy in the truest sense.
I didn’t tell you how scared I was when Little Missy was so sick. I’ve never told you how proud I am that you have revealed yourself as one of the kindest, truest, and most forgiving men I’ve known. I never thanked you for insisting that I sit under that tree that day, or for being the one that invested so much in my son, before he was mine. I’ve never told you how much I love you, how much I respect you, and how blessed I am that you never turned your back on me. I’m the oldest, but you’ve taught me far more than I could ever teach you.
There are changes on the horizon, for all of us. I refuse to let the opportunity pass me by again. The least I can do for you, and your own family, is to tell you I’ve got your back. I love you. I will always, always, always be there if you need me. I promise to keep the prayers going. I hope all those dreams come true. God knows you deserve every one of them. Keep the faith, my brother. I love you.
~ But my servant Caleb,
because he has had a different spirit
and has followed me fully,
I will bring him into the land
which he entered,
and his descendants shall take possession of it. ~
~ Numbers 14:24 ~