You should see them. The two of them, bundled under a blanket reading a book. Big brother arm around little wide-eyed brother as they soak in a story together in the warmth of their friendship. You should see them — the two of them — as they wrestle around and play made up games with rules only they know in the secrets of their brotherhood.
We used to be two. Me and my sweet husband. We had to wait to have our first. When I heard I was pregnant there weren’t words or songs to describe my joy. And several months later we found out about her. Our niece in great need whom we had never met because of the lost and broken life of my husband’s brother. And we took her in to be our own only three months after our first was born. Together we committed to her. And we were on the roller coaster together. All four of us a brand-new family of strangers who meant the world to one another.
She left when her mom got it together and we were left just three. And it never was the same and it wasn’t quite complete.
Grief leaves its marks and together we had to overcome that loss and make life enough again.
And six years later after the loss of our niece God gave us our second son. My oldest said, “Sometimes God answers prayers slowly because, Mom, I’ve been praying for a baby brother or sister for two years.” And in his then-six-year-old life that WAS slowly. But God did answer.
And together those boys just might conquer the world as they have surely conquered my heart. They say “phileo” is brotherly love. We have it in spades over here — and God is what holds us together.