My joy for today is my most faithful blog reader.
My brother visited this past weekend. I saved this short draft and title on February 23, 2010. I don’t remember this visit in particular, but it was meaningful enough to prompt the saving of this blog idea. A great deal has happened in my brother’s life since then. He has graduated from college (in a shocking and impressive year and a half), completed and screened his second full-length film (please visit his website via the link provided), won a prestigious award for his most recent film, studied abroad in New Zealand and England, and is now working on two master’s degrees, one from an art school and one from a seminary. I am in awe of his worldly accomplishments, but these are not the reasons he is my joy for today.
I have had the unspeakable privilege of witnessing my baby brother turn into a man, from the day of his birth to today. I was 8 when Spencer was born. I helped change his diapers and snuggled him as a baby. When I began dating my husband, Spencer was 10. At that time, he was often annoying, as is typical of a pre-pubescent boy. I was probably neglectful of both him and my younger sister at times, as is typical of a self-absorbed teenager. He recently told me that on one occasion when I was in high school, I thoughtlessly told him that he didn’t need to kiss and hug me good-bye every time he left my bedroom to go across the hall to his bedroom. It shocked me that he remembered this incident, and I felt guilty for ever making him feel that I didn’t treasure our time together, including our partings.
As always, distance makes the heart grow fonder. As I journeyed off to college, newlywed life in Miami, and the birth of four children, I tried to always convey how much I still treasured both my baby brother and sister. I am not sure I always succeeded.
For now, a short but glorious time, Spencer lives down the street from us. Having him around to spend time with our kids, have meals together, go for runs around the neighborhood, attend church, and just spend time with, is such a gift. I hesitated in posting this blog because it is so difficult to sum up a loved one’s admirable qualities in a thousand word post. No words could ever accomplish such a task completely.
I realized recently that I have been getting to know Spencer all over again, as an equal and a friend. I admire so many things about him, and most of all, his faith and pursuit of the Lord. He is encouraging and intentional in relationships with those around him and makes greatness in life seem easy. Sadly, I have realized that there were things about his childhood that I entirely missed, and I imagine this is mostly inevitable with age differences between siblings. But I am so thankful for the opportunity to make up for lost time.
Spencer recently posted a comment on this neglected blog of mine, encouraging me to return to writing. I received an e-mail notification of his comment, and it meant a great deal to me. Thank you to others who have also encouraged my return. Thank you to my baby brother for becoming a man that I am honored to call my friend.
Enjoy your joys for today.