Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
By Kay McElroy
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The middle two of four adult children, my youngest brother and I have a mutual agreement—“Don’t call me and I won’t call you.” Oh, there are exceptions to this rule such as a holiday invite where food is involved or the occasional emergency notification that affects someone in the immediate family. Other than that, we pretty much stick to our deal to touch base with each other as little as possible.
My oldest brother and I have literally no common ground, short of the mutual people we love. I’m afraid of everything. He’s fears nothing. My idea of entertainment is a whimsical and witty romantic chick-flick, whereas his preferred book or movie tends to be more toward that of the sci-fi psychotic on a killing spree with a rabid dog as his sidekick. In his defense he is a sensitive soul.
As the firstborn daughter, my childhood began as daddy’s little girl which he has allowed me to remain for forty-seven years. I see love in his eyes every time we talk.
This feeling of security was only briefly interrupted as my baby sister was born when I was at the ripe old age of two and a half—but through the years all was well again as I realized how much fun my brothers and I could have bestowing misery upon her.
She has taken in stride all the hard knocks of being the youngest, but now knows it has its perks—like her least desire is our greatest mission. Yes, she’s got the reigns alright. When she’s happy all is well. She has complete control over our emotions. She speaks—we melt. Her beautiful, faith-filled character will not allow her to take advantage of this attribute (as might her siblings, were we to possess such power). Quite possibly, this explains why the Lord would grant her this gift in the first place.
Our childhood consisted of several relocations. So, home, as Mom and Dad used to put it, was wherever we were together. No matter how much animosity her children may have felt for each other at a given time, my mother never allowed the words “hate, stupid, or shut-up” in our home. Those three words just didn’t fly with Mom. To hear her reprimand upon the use of these words was to feel the brunt of each one of them. And although we sneaked them in as often as we could when Mom wasn’t present, the dislike of these and associated words was instilled in us. Mom was not what one would consider strict by any stretch, but she insisted that we remain loving and bonded, a closely knit family.
Now in our forties and fifties, we still live within fifty miles of each other. My sister continues to be my bouncing board, my dilemma-fixer, my keeper of deepest secrets and I thank God for her, my confidant. May never a moment pass that she and our Mom in Heaven do not feel the love that covers them.
Oh yeah, I like Dad and boys, too.
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