Terry’s gone, and it looks like we’ll never see him again.
I’ll miss him. We all will. Well, Steve says he won’t miss him at all, but I doubt it.
I know Dad’s upset, though he tries not to show it. This whole mess has cost him plenty, but he won’t say how much, and I don’t know how he will get all that money back.
I love Terry so much, because he’s always been so much fun. He always made time to tease me, his little sister, but it was always in fun.
“Terry the Terror,” they call him, but I never realised how much of a terror until I heard him starting to complain about being stuck on the farm. “All this fresh air and hard work has kept Dad so fit that he will live forever… I won’t be able to enjoy what’s coming until I’m nearly as old as he is … It’s not fair…”
I had to laugh when he complained about how cramped he felt: “Everything’s so boring here – like rounding up the cows for milking - because if you aren’t the front cow the view is not so wonderful!”
But it broke my heart when I heard him tell Dad: “I wish you’d drop dead! Then I could get a life of my own! You could afford it, and I’ll never bother you again!”
Dad said nothing. He just sold up half the stock and gave Terry all the proceeds of the sale.
Terry didn’t even thank him. He just shoved the money in his wallet and he was gone - without saying goodbye.
Steve is my only brother, now that Terry has gone. I love him too, but he’s so hard to get close to. Nowhere near as warm or full of fun as Terry is. Oh, he works hard. Probably too hard, because all he thinks about is the work that has to be done.
Yup, “Steve the Steady One:” always there, always dependable, and oh so dull.
Talk about all work and no play. And now he plays the old “I’m the good son” routine any chance he gets. It’s wearing a bit thin for me, and I see Dad’s eyes glaze over just a little more each time it starts.
How could these two brothers really be brothers? Why couldn’t Terry accept that belonging to our family is such a blessing, and that hard work is part of it?
We were blessed with stuff that money could never buy: like getting along, or respecting each other, or enjoying the variety in the seasons, or pulling together through low prices or low rainfall - or all the other things that you can’t plan for?
And then there’s Steve – who takes everything as seriously as he takes himself. Doesn’t he know how blessed he is already; or how much Dad loves him?
What’s to become of our family? Nobody mentions it, but now there’s a huge Terry-shaped hole around here.
Will it ever be filled?
Can we ever be as blessed again?
Author's note: This is a partial para(llel)able from Luke's gospel - chapter fifteen
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