"When is Uncle Kevin going to get here?” Ty and Sarah whined while pulling on my shirt for my attention.
“He’ll be here soon, honey,” I leaned over and patted them on their heads.
Kevin was my older brother, my only sibling, and he had been stationed in Afghanistan for the past 2 years. We were all anxious for him to get to the house. He was going to stay with us for a couple of weeks until his apartment became available.
Finally, my husband, Brad, drove up in the driveway with his much-anticipated passenger. The kids raced out of the house screaming, “Uncle Kevin, Uncle Kevin!”
Later, as we were sitting around the dinner table, Kevin and I were reminiscing about when we were kids.
“Remember the time when I dared you to go into old man Grady’s store and steal candy? You did it, but you weren’t sneaky enough. You got caught and Grady marched you home. You got in so much trouble!” Kevin laughed.
I grimaced, “Funny, I remember things differently…I remember you teased me, called me a sissy. You said you had done it tons of times, that if I couldn’t do it I was no sister of yours. Then, when I got caught, you were nowhere around. I got spanked and grounded for 2 weeks. You thought it was hilarious. Me? Not so much.”
Kevin continued, “What about that time you got lost at the pool and accepted a ride home from a stranger? You got in so much trouble with the folks over that one. I think they thought you were going to be kidnapped or something.”
“Funny, that you should forget that you were with me until you decided to desert me to go off with your friends. I was only five and didn’t have a clue how to get home. I was bawling my eyes out, when this nice couple with two little kids offered to help me find my way home. You were not a nice brother back then you know,” I reminded him.
He continued with his walk down memory lane, “Remember, what’s his face? The guy you went to the prom with? Was his name Tom? Wasn’t he the football quarter back? Funny you never heard from him again after that date.”
I sighed loudly, “That, wasn’t funny in the least, Kev. You bet him that he couldn’t get me to give him a kiss goodnight. He was hitting on me all night long and was really annoying. After he told me about the bet, I gave him a kiss, just so you would lose the bet.”
Kevin looked at me with a boyish grin that reminded me of Ty. “I guess I was a pretty rotten brother to you,” he finally agreed. “I guess I’m lucky you still even speak to me, let alone let me stay in your home.”
“Yeah, you are lucky,” I agreed with a teasing tone. “In my advanced years, I have learned to forgive. After all, I only have one brother, and if I can’t forgive him all of his horrendous deeds, it would be a lonely, boring existence.”
Kevin reached over and put his hand on mine. “Seriously, Sis, I am so lucky to have you. Because of the love and forgiveness you have shown me over the years, I have been able to do the same during some horrendous experiences by some very evil people in Afghanistan. I know the reason you have been able to give me that love and forgiveness is because you believe in Jesus. Because of your example, I have also become a Christian”
“Aw, Kev, I am so very happy for you! I have been praying daily for your safety and your salvation,” I said with tears in my eyes.
“It took me a while; I was just so angry and filled with hate for those people. Then I remembered all of the mean stuff that I did to you over the years and realized that if you could forgive me, love me, and be filled with joy that is what I needed to do to those people. I just didn’t like the person I had become. Thanks Sis, for showing me the way,” he said with a half smile.
• This is a fictional story
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