I'm enjoying a little peace and quiet after an afternoon full of grandchildren. The three smaller ones are 4,5, and 6 years old, and generally speaking they get along and play well together. Two of them stayed overnight while their parents enjoyed a night out. The other two live next door.
Miss E was a little put out that she couldn't stay over too, but the three of them together and none of us would have gotten any sleep!
I was thinking about when I was small. I was telling Miss K about having five brothers who picked on me and made my life miserable sometimes. This was after her little brother did something, or maybe she was telling me about something he did last week.
My brothers are all younger than I am. When we were small we were grubby, snotty nosed little kids who fought and played and never sat still. When we would fight our mom would make us sit together in a chair, and give each other a hug. This would generally provoke some poking and pushing which turned into laughing, and you can't be mad at someone with whom you are laughing. Trying to avoid hugging would be so funny we'd forget about being mad.
These are the dearest people to me... next to my own kids and grandkids they are the people I would give a kidney to, or send my last dollar if it would help them.
I found out that one of my youngest brothers has an incurable disease that has no treatments, and has had it for seven years. We live half a continent apart, and my brothers are all from the John Wayne school of keep-your-weaknesses-to-yourself. It's devastating to find out that a sibling has something from which they will not recover. What do you do? I'm offering it up, as they say. Tell your troubles to Jesus. Well, Lord, this is a big one!
As I was waiting for the grands to go to sleep, and they were wiggling and giggling and generally NOT going to sleep, I was thinking what a nice day it had been with them. I don't like to send kids to be hungry. Or crying. But they were in need of a little incentive to drop off, so I went in a fourth time and administered a stern warning. Five minutes later there was only the sound of gentle breathing from their room.
Thank God for every day I get to spend with them. I thank Him also for my fairly decent health, and the fact that I am still employed and that the family is nearby. I thank Him for the gift of brothers and sisters and cousins and in-laws and other family. I thank Him that he has ALL of my brothers in his hands... and that He keeps us there.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Sometimes what does kill you does the same. None of us gets out of this world alive, but none of us is ready to go right now. But like Tim McGraw sings, we should all live like we were dying. Because we are.
Some days there is great happiness, and great sadness, all at the same time.
Good night, wherever you are. Don't forget to say "I love you".