My brother, Onas, and his wife, Mary, lived many years in Wheaton, Illinois, where Ones was the Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College. Mary taught school.
We very seldom saw one another through those years. They were busy teaching and we were busy farming, as several years we farmed close to 1000 acres. We also did a lot of combining etc. for other farmers, and could seldom get away.
Our parents were aging, and it seemed most spare time was spent trying to be a support for them.
In 1969, our daughter, Linda, married a farmer and we seldom were able to visit them. Linda was a nurse, and her husband, David, had about all he could handle also.
Then, in 1976, our son, Vernon was killed in a car accident. By then, we had gotten rid of most of our livestock, and spent a few months in the winter in a warmer climate in Arizona, to have a little breather from the whirl of farming.
My sister, Myrna, and I were able to visit Onas and Mary in Wheaton for a special program that was in honor of Onas. His was called the “Scandrette Lectures.” My sis and I felt like baby birds that had fallen out of their nest, in the college environment.
Ones and I visited some, but my sister, Myrna and he were only 2 years apart in age so they mostly reminisced about their childhood. His was very interesting to me, but I still felt like I didn’t know my brother. Listening to their visiting did make me feel a “little” closer to him.
Some years later, Mary passed away. They had 2 boys, Allen, and Richard. Rich and his wife, Barb, insisted that Onas go to live with them, so he moved not only “in with “but even further away, as Rich was in the Service of his country.
Barb and Rich were very good to Onas, taking him to many points of interest that he thoroughly enjoyed. We kept in contact, but that’s about all.
Well, Rich was transferred to California, and they had a huge move to make. Onas was not very well at the time, and they ask us if he could come and stay with us for a month. Of course, I agreed. After all, he was my brother.
Onas and I walked every day as it was his custom, and I feared for him to walk alone on the rough country road
Well, those two months, yes, it turned into a longer time than anticipated, became one of the highlights of my lifetime, and Onas was already in his 90’s.
On those long walks together, we shared many things from our lives that I’m nearly certain were not shared with many others. We laughed together, cried together, and learned that there were many things about the two of us that were very similar. I only felt so sad that we had no opportunity prior to this, to really understand one another, and, yes, truly love one another as a sister and brother should.
We shared our love of the Lord, our personal hopes and dreams, and some of our disappointments.
I would not trade that time together for anything in the world, and what a joy to know we will share eternity together. I am so thrilled that we had this time of bonding.
We went to California to share Onas’s 90th. Birthday celebration. He was quite feeble, and it became necessary for him to go to a facility better able to care for him. He was pretty clear in his mind for that age.
I have a picture of he and I that I will always treasure until that day when we can be together again.
Onas went home to be with the Lord before that year was passed. Yet, I often think of the many memories we made in that special 2 months that he was in our home, when I learned just how special it was to have a brother 17 years my senior. Family is so precious!