A Goodbye To My Brother

August 19, 2002

I got your letter today. . .the one that ends with goodbye and refers to me as Mrs. Bonds. It's been a rough couple of years, hasn't it? 

You know, it wasn't always this way between us. In fact, despite some difficult childhood memories, I have some wonderful memories of you and me growing up. I remember when you were about four years old and you asked me to marry you. I thought it was funny, but I didn't laugh at you. I knew it was just the admiration of a little innocent brother. I took it as a compliment. I gently explained that brothers and sisters couldn't be married, but that someday God would have a fine wife for you. Kelli has been no disappointment. 

I remember the day you got hurt on the way back from the barn. I remember feeling so responsible and so worried as you lay in Mom's arms and bled on the way to the hospital. If only I had been a more careful sister, you would not have ended up in harm's way.

I remember the day we went visiting at a friend's house and you decided to try out the middle of the road. I can still hear Mom's hysterical cries as she called after you to get out of the road. I also remember the way you covered your ears with your hands and walked all the more tenaciously away from her. 

I remember teaching you things that you were eager to learn, like writing and chess and tennis (ok I was a lousy tennis teacher) and how it was such a humbling thing to teach you something knowing you would excel at it immediately and I would never again win at chess. But it was a joy to teach you.

I remember that summer after I got my drivers license when you had a little job and so did I, and we spent all our money at Christian Emporium on Imperials records (the big black things that came before CD's for you yunguns) and posters. I remember our ten trips to see Star Wars and watching to see how many mistakes we could find. 

It breaks my heart to know that we have been separated by circumstances neither of us asked for. As long as I live I will long for and pray for healing in our relationship. But I have come to the point where I realize that if that is ever to happen it will not come as a result of anything I say or do. It will be a grace of God. I am open to it, are you?

See, I still see you running down that road with your hands over your ears, stubbornly not heeding the calls of your Mother. She wants only what is best for you. She wants your safety and salvation. But you will not hear her and you dig your heels into the road and stomp away in rejection of her care. It is into her prayerful care that I commit you James. 

To continue our back and forth arguments is wrong. It is an occasion for sin for us both. I agree that further discussion is useless. But, as I agree with your goodbye, I tuck you gently into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and commit you and our family to Him.

Good bye Jimmy. 



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