When my mom was pregnant with my baby brother, we didn’t know whether she’d be having a boy or a girl. Knowing how badly I wanted a sister, she had a consolation prize ready for me in the event of another boy. Sure enough, I was the lucky winner of a new doll after she delivered another winsome boy.
Being the only girl of four kids but only 17 months younger than my older brother, I tended towards characteristics that were more like the oldest. There were, however, some characteristics that were so uniquely my older brother, that even I couldn’t learn them–his propensity towards keeping tabs on who ate the last kitkat; his exceptional skill at building model airplanes; his debating abilities; his crazy smarts which undoubtedly got him to where he is today, a professor of archaeology at UCLA and a real-life Indiana Jones.
We fought like cats and dogs growing up. No one could get under my skin like my older brother. Yet, almost immediately after he left for college, I discovered a friendship with him that surprised me. How was it that this great guy had grown up with me all these years, and I hadn’t realized it? In the many years since then, I have grown to love and appreciate the man he has become. And in the last few years when I needed to know there was still a good man out there, he demonstrated the fight and honor for me that I needed following a devastating divorce.
Just a couple months after I moved back to Maryland, he and his family arrived in Baltimore for a Sabbatical year. There is no doubt in my mind that this was divine orchestration. His family’s presence that year offered tremendous support to me and my two kids as we shared regular Sunday dinners, and our kids got to know each other in that familiar playmate kind of way, something we rarely experienced with our own cousins growing up.
And so it is, on day 32, I offer thanks for this good man for demonstrating faithfulness, affection, and care when I needed to know there was at least one good man. I love you big brother.