As children you were an awful tease,
a tormentor and a fiend
But somehow as we grew, I came to realize
The protector and the friend you were
And remain so to this day
I know I can always count on you
No matter what life sends
Your humor can be depended on
To chase away the blues
Integrity? Oh yes, indeed
You have that and more in spades
Honest, kind, and thoughtful, too
Though you try to keep that hidden
Commitment to our whole vast brood
Is melded to your being
And proud am I to be a leaf
On our family tree
And grateful too
That God gifted me with you
So, thank you dear, dear brother of mine
I know you always have my back
And I, in turn, will have yours too
I’m so glad we are related
And on this day that you were born
I raise my glass to you
In love and gratitude
For all you do
For all you are
And all you will be, too
I wish you every joy and bliss
May your cup always run over
With all that makes your heart so glad
And makes your life worth living
For you mean so much to me
And always, always will.
The bonds between siblings remain throughout the years. Whether we speak often, or have long periods of time when life keeps us busy, I know my siblings are there for me – always! My siblings multiply my joys and share my burdens so they become lighter. We grew up in rural Newfoundland in a little house on a hill that looked out over the bay. As I travel back in time, I am filled with nostalgia for those happy days playing in the fields that surrounded the house or in the woods behind the “back forty”. I was one of nine children – number seven of the bunch. I am so grateful to be part of this family. The eldest took such good care of the younger members. I always felt secure knowing they stood between me and anything that threatened harm. Growing up in a large family can have its challenges, but the blessings far outweighed these. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for each and every one of my sisters and brothers. They have taught me, guided me, stood by me, and always, always loved me. And I thank God for the blessings of growing up with such caring and compassionate people. Life can wound us, but if we are fortunate enough to have a sibling that truly loves us and supports us we will find healing. So, this is my thank you to each of my brothers and sisters who enrich my life, lift me up, and support me. I am so very glad we have each other.
I find myself reminiscing a lot – about my childhood and about my parents and siblings. Today was day 2 of the trial and again I am not there. I live in another province and between work and family obligations I am unable to be there at this horrid time. I had a nice chat with one of my brothers though, hence the reminiscing. I had five brothers and three sisters. Chris was the youngest. He was killed when an impaired driver plowed into him as he was heading home from work. Sorry if this is repetitious, but I don’t know who may be reading this. At any rate, my brother brought me up to speed on the happenings of the day. By all accounts it was rough for my niece (Christopher’s daughter, though she has been a real “little soldier”) and for all the family that was in attendance.
I am doing my best not to dwell on that though and instead I am sitting here with happier memories – like all nine of us children doing “the twist” in the living room as old-time 50s rock blared from the radio (at least I think it was a radio). Dad hated that “new fangled music” so while he and Mom were gone shopping my elder siblings let it rip. That is one of my favourite memories – the older siblings teaching us younger ones how to dance. Or the time we were all playing baseball up in the “back forty” of our property. Chris was so little, but very determined. He played his heart out, his little legs pumping furiously as he ran for home plate. He was the baby of the family and the apple of all our eyes. It was impossible to stay angry with him for long because he had such a sunny and generous nature. I am trying my best to honour him by remembering the good times and all the best facets of his character – of which there are many.
Fair warning, if you are following this blog it will be filled with anecdotes about my younger brother. I am so glad to have had him. I will honor him. I will honor his memory today and every day. Despite the heartache of his passing Chris continues to bless us all by bringing us closer together once again – I just wish he hadn’t had to die to do so!