Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lance the Long Neck

I guess this journey through the valley of the shadow of death is just a new one each day. I never really know what to expect. Yesterday was so hard--my parents were both back at work, Bob returned to work after 21 days home, and I was attempting to return to our family's routines. "Normal" will never be normal again. There were fresh issues/hurts to address with Bryan's death. Dealing with the fallout is a regular occurrence. So the tiny scab of healing was ripped off again.
But His mercies are new every morning. Today is a new day! I signed on to write my post for the day and the new music I added came blaring on. Barlow Girl was shouting, "My God's Enough For Me!" and I looked over at sweet Samuel and his head was rocking to the beat and he was grinning. Then I quizzed my Peter Boy and asked him, "Who is that?" while pointing to the picture on the top of the blog. Peter smiled while he answered, without missing a beat, "Uncle Bryan". A friend loaned us a copy of Heaven/For Kids by Randy Alcorn. Finally some direction for all the questioning going on in the Fitzpatrick Home! Another friend left a homemade pie on my front porch along with a card with wise words for me last night. I had more than pie to chew on (for the first time thinking with a new perspective, a deeper understanding) as I read these words:
"Sweet Friend, please try and remember these (2) things:
  1. The trial of this moment...in a MOMENT, will be gone! The only thing that separates you from Bryan is TIME!
  2. What would Bryan want to communicate to you right now, if he could, from his spot in heaven? Maybe..."Please don't waste your time being sad about me. That would be futile and silly. Is it significant whether I lived 36 years or 96 years on earth? The significant thing is whether or not I accepted Christ during whatever time I had. That's the bottom line sister. So be contented, enjoy your blessings, and then hurry up and come join me. It's awesome beyond words here. You'll see."

Of course I can have no idea what Bryan is saying right now, neither can my well-meaning friend. Maybe he is not saying anything right now except HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! But her encouraging words, some much-needed time with my hubby, coupled with all the prayer that I know is buttressing our family up right now, has comforted my soul and I feel more equipped to handle today. WHEW! With that said, here is my story for today:

I was in second or third grade. That means Bryan was in first or second. We went to Cortez Elementary School, a brand new school in Ontario, which I was convinced was built just for us! I have sensory memories of a new-smelling plastic "cubby" with MY name on it. Only one grade apart, Bryan and I had the same recess. It's a good thing!

Lance, the Long Neck. The Giraffe. Noodle-Neck Boy. I had all kinds of names for my nemesis. He made a habit of tormenting me on the blacktop during recess. One day I was struggling across the monkey bars in a dress. Lance and his cronies were teasing me. The last straw was when he plopped beneath me and tried to peek under my dress! Oh the shame!

Well, that is when my little brother (and he was littler than me back then) came to my rescue. From the other side of the soccer field, he raced over to the monkey bars. I can still remember seeing his face as I was just clinging onto those bars wishing the blacktop would crack open and suck Noodle Neck into the abyss. Bryan was MAD! He walloped Long Neck upside the head and delivered some choice words to convince the bully that I was not to be messed with. I never had a problem with Lance the Long Neck again.

Thanks for being my defender, dear brother. That wasn't the last time that I was thankful we were only 10 months apart and following each other through school. There were many times when you rescued me. You watched my back. I sometimes thought that you should have been the firstborn. "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 You were my brother, Bryan. But more than that, you were my friend. Thanks for sticking close all these years.

"My God's Enough for ME!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I am reading this beautiful thing you did for your brother in his memory...I am laughing, crying. The scriptures, music, stories, pictures everything about it is perfecrt. I remember your brother and you guys being close as my brother and sister are they are 15 months apart, you guys beat them. You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this.
God Bless,
Love, Geri

WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!