Monday, April 27, 2009
A Sister's Pride
Having four brothers has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have often made the statement that I cannot imagine a life without brothers. Each of them have contributed immeasureably to my life and brought me such joy. I have loved each of them fiercely and am so very proud of the men they became.
I was fifteen when my youngest brother, Dwight, was born. Back in "those days" children under the age of twelve were not allowed to visit patients in the hospital. So, Dwight was the first of my brothers I actually got to see after his birth. I remember standing at the nursery window with my Daddy and looking at Dwight. He was the most beautiful baby and I wanted to take him home right then. I couldn't wait to hold him--he was so precious.
As Dwight became a toddler, his hair grew long and curly---and blonde!! Everywhere we went, people commented on his hair. He smiled all the time and was such a ham for pictures. He would pose any way you wanted him to and wait for the camera to click. His blonde curls, blue eyes, and ready smile endeared him to the heart of all who knew him. Among the women of my father's church Dwight was "the Baby". He was so loved.
The day my mother took Dwight for his first haircut was an awful day. No one wanted him to lose his curls. Some of the women of our church actually cried when they saw him with his hair cut. I coudn't help but shed a tear or two, but he looked so cute with his short hair that we all eventually adapted to it. Besides, his sweet personality never changed.
As Dwight grew older I watched him play T-ball, survive broken bones, get his first car, and learn to play the drums. Though Dwight has always excelled at everything he has ever done, it was his music that remained his first love. He was an exceptional drummer. In our home church, in church campmeetings, or the basement of our home, he played with such abandon---it was almost as if he lost himself in the beat of whatever tune he was listening to. He was self-taught and he was one of the best.
Dwight married in his early twenties and the drums sort of got pushed into the background of life. I know he still played from time to time but nothing like what he had enjoyed when he was younger. I missed him in church. No one could follow my lead on the piano like he could. I'm sure I may be a little prejudice but, to me, he was the best.
Life hit Dwight very hard in his thirties. A number of tragedies, including a divorce and the loss of our second brother, made life a sad place for my little brother. I remember asking God to be with him, to comfort him, and to touch the pain in his heart with healing and restoration. It was difficult to know what to say because no words we can speak can mend a broken heart. It takes God to do that and, even though Dwight was so hurt he could not pray, I was praying for him and asking God to do the work.
Later on, when I faced my own tragedies, Dwight was there to help me get back on my feet. He put furniture in my home and helped me buy a car. He became a major player in my emotional recovery and, along with my children, became one of the reasons I picked myself up to begin again. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, Dwight was there. I smile when I remember him saying to me, "Keep yourself busy, Sis, and for God's sake don't listen to any sad music on the radio.". He knew me so well--he still does.
Tracy came into Dwight's life at just the right time. The above picture is the one used for their engagement announcement. She became such a part of our family and has added grace and beauty to Dwight's life. It was through her that I began to see my brother heal. I saw him smile again and I heard him laugh--I mean really laugh for the first time in a long time. How I praised the Lord for the sound of his laughter and how I thanked Him for Tracy and her beautiful Christian spirit. Their wedding was so lovely, so peaceful, so joyful---tears filled my eyes when I saw the way Dwight looked at Tracy. Another prayer for my little brother had been answered.
I was so happy for him.
It was with Tracy's encouragement that Dwight began playing the drums again. The church they attend was auditioning for drummers and Tracy insisted Dwight try out. We both agreed that he would not have done it had Tracy not gone with him but , nevertheless, he made the audition and is now one of several drummers at Christian Life Center.
This past Sunday, I sat in the congregation and watched as Dwight played the drums. As always, he appeared to be lost in the music as he played unto the Lord. Every drum roll brought a leap of joy to my spirit and every time he hit the cymbals I could have come to my feet had I not already been standing!!!` I was so proud of him. As I watched him, my mind went over all the things he had endured in life to bring him to this point. I was reminded of when the music in his hands was silent. I thought of the times when he hurt so badly he could not speak. I remembered his smile when he told me about Tracy. Most of all, though, I remembered the little boy who used to slip his hand in mine as we crossed the street---the little boy who would look up at me, smile, and melt my heart. I was reminded of how faithful God is.
If I have learned one thing in life, it is that we must never give up praying for those we love. We must never stop believing in them and we must never stop believing in the God who loves them. I guess I feel like the prayers I prayed for my brother and the love I hold in my heart for him, played a part in his returning to his music. I like to think that the little boy who held my hand and the man on the drums are one and the same. Both of them hold my heart in their hands. Both of them are loved beyond measure. The little boy became the man on the drums---the man on the drums remains my joy. I think he knows how much he is loved---I think he knows.