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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Writer's Workshop: A phone call I'll never forget

My sister and I grew up in a neighborhood filled with kids.  Our house was home base for all of our neighborhood games.  We played tag, run-down, kick-the-can and any other game we could fancy in our childish minds.

Directly across the street from us live two boys.  Two boys whom we grew to love but not in that mushy, gushy, romantic love kind of way.  These boys became our brothers.  Our parents loved each other.  Our moms were great friends.  Our dads tolerated each other like most men do.

We camped together.

We played cards together.

We BBQd together.

After school all four of us came home to empty houses.  It wasn't all that unusual back then.  We were referred to as latch-key kids.  We spent the hours of after-school until after-work alone.

My sister and I were given strict instructions not to let those boys into the house.  The boys were given strict instructions not to let us into their house.  Of course, we were always in each others houses.  After all, strict instructions were meant to be broken.

Life has a way of evolving and soon I was a teenager off with friends my own age.  We still talked and waved at each other but in a flash I was out of house and they were left behind.  My sister graduated with the oldest boy and after that graduation we lost track of the brothers for a while.

We'd laugh and catch up at holidays when we all returned from where ever the wind had blown us.

I was living in Ohio when my dad called me to tell me of the youngest brother's death.  He was 20.  A car accident.  His brother was in the car but he survived.  I remember feeling empty and so very sad.  He had grown into such a wonderful young man with a great future ahead of him and in a flash he was gone.

My husband and I drove six hours one way for his funeral.  If I close my eyes I can still hear the guttural sobs coming from his mother as the church goers sang "and he will raise you up on eagles wings; bear you on the breath of dawn; make you to shine like the sun; and hold you in the palm of his hand."

Thirteen years later and I still feel a little empty when I think about him.  I wonder what he would have become and what his children would have been like. 

I still talk to his brother, but not nearly as much as I would like.  God blessed him with a son who shares a birthday with the uncle he never had a chance to meet.

Makes me think maybe God has a plan after all...even if I don't understand it.

9 random thoughts:

Amanda said...

A beautiful, bittersweet post - just like life.

a son who shares a birthday with the uncle he never had a chance to meet.

When I hear about such things it makes me wonder too. It also gives me hope that not all suffering is entirely in vain.

Daniel said...

I once heard a thought that struck me. If we understood God's plans-would he really be God? While sometimes God paints pictures to help us understand little parts of life, His plans are largely not understood by us. I think it was one of the prophets in the Bible that said "who can know the mind of God except the Spirit of God."

Anonymous said...

funny how we rarely understand Gods plan at the time, but it always works out....I guess its true our fingerprints never really fade from those we touch


Stephanie said...

What a beautiful account of such a bittersweet story.

Margaret said...

I always wonder what kids that die would be like as well.

Anonymous said...

I believe Amanda said it best. There is always a reason behind things, even if we don't know what it may be.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

So sad, but beautifully written.

Suniverse said...

Oh, that's so sad.

But beautifully written.

Anne said...

What a sad story. Makes me think of my kids and their friends across the street and how sweet life is for them now. Makes you want to appreciate all that you have now right in front of you! Thanks for sharing!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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