It was the end of World War II, and a marriage was performed quietly at Pensacola Naval Base Chapel. Future in-laws congregated in the vestibule while the bride, dressed in white with a three quarter length skirt, prepared for the ceremonial “I do’s.” A young man in his mid-twenties, dressed in formal blues, stood quietly waiting for his bride. But amid this festive day, a disgruntled undertone lent to the day. Sadly, both sets of parents weren’t impressed with each other.
The wedding went off without a hitch for Jean and Jane, despite the family problems. They were issued a weekend pass for a honeymoon and then back to Naval Officer duties on Monday. With influential in-laws, you could only expect eventually, one or the other would be drawn into a situation of ‘blood is thicker than water.’ Marriage wasn’t enough to tame family discord, so maybe a baby would calm the hearts. Grandparents, though, who try to control tempers can sway thought processes.
On May 9th, a Mother’s Day gift from God was born – a baby boy. He laid hopelessly anticipating his destiny in life. This bright little child was occasionally tossed between feuding grandparents while his father was on patrol guarding our country. The little boy grew up in the exploratory era of the sixties. World events such as walking on the moon, Woodstock, and Vietnam persuaded his life’s decisions. After a tour in the Navy himself, his life became a mystery.
Now, in the spring of his beginnings, he had a child to raise, and he matured into manhood overnight. His fragmented father figure died young by his demise, so the young man turned to peers for directional guidance. Some decisions were right, and some were wrong, but somehow, he made it – my big brother.
In His glory days, God saved him. His life now welcomes children who look up to him. It is a characteristic he was deprived of because our father died at an early age. Today, he watches the seasons change as God grants him another birthday. Feeling the aches of age (which hasn’t been his friend), my beloved brother sits alone and relives the days of vigor and vitality.
Seventy-two years strong, he has survived many years of difficulties and created lots of memories. He will lovingly remain impressionable to me – even though we came from the same loaf of bread, we still spread the butter a little differently. Where would I be if it hadn’t been for that little boy born in the turmoil of his loving family? Thank you, my beloved brother, for the best gift I ever had was YOU! Happy Birthday!