When I was young, so young I only remember the sense of my life, not so much the particular, I became alone, or if not alone at least lonely. My constant companion, my protector, my bud, my teacher, my older brother was taken from me in a terrible boating accident. I was left lonely if not alone. My father was left distracted, if not alone. My mother was disheartened, if not alone. My grandparents were bewildered, if not alone. My Great Aunts and Uncles befuddled, if not so alone.
'Where? Where is Tommy', I ask. 'He's not here.' 'Where is he?',
I return. 'He went away.' 'Can I go?', I pursue. 'No!!' 'Why?',
'Why don't we read?'
'yieahhhowoooaahhh!' I protest.
'Your father, Paul, thinks he is a 'Jonah'.'
I learn about fish.
'One grandfather thinks he is a 'Peter'.'
I learn more about fish.
'The other thinks he is a 'Job'.'
I learn about loss.
'One uncle is a lot like 'Saul of Tarsus'.'
I learn about cost.
'The other thinks he is a 'Matthew'.'
I learn about opportunity.
'Your great auntie thinks she is an 'Esther'.'
I learn about courage.
'Your mother and grandmothers are a lot like 'Mary'.'
'I learn about purity patience and love.
'Your cousin thinks he is a 'King Saul'.'
I learn about death.
'Your aunts are a lot like Mary and Martha.'
I learn about sevice and humility.
'Your great uncle thinks he is a Benjamite and a Lazarus!'
'Oh no he didn't!' I hear?!
'When will I see Tommy?', I respond.
'Tommy is with Jesus'! they tell me, the Good News!
How can I not?
'Now you need to tell someone!'
'I told you!?'
'Is there anyone else?'
I rush out the door onto the Front Porch and as I descend the steps to the ground between me and the known Mission field, feet peddling fast and hard and constant, ...One..., dressed in a white flowing robe with golden borders, places an eternal hand on my shoulder, tells me softly and tenderly and confidently (my feet flying), 'I will be with you always! in a moment frozen to stillness, and on across the yard '.Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Guess what!?'...
I often pause on the Front Porch and wanderingly wonder 'Am I alone?'
The response, 'Are you still?'...'Are my feet flying?',...