Being A Brother


ImageMost people don’t understand my family dynamics. I don’t understand everyone’s family dynamics either. I have two families. My natural family that gave me birth, and my adopted family that adopted me as a young man. I have had two wonderful mothers, who both gave me their best. My natural father never knew how to be a father until shortly before his death. My adopted father was a very good dad, but never wanted me to look back. I was lucky, I had two families.

This past week my only natural brother (Claude Edward) was killed in a auto accident. He was fourteen years older than me. In some ways he was more like a father than a brother. He dropped out of school and went to work to help my mother make a living. He was someone that I could count on. His life wasn’t easy. He married a lady who made a rocky marriage their entire marriage until he finally divorced her. He later remarried and found some happiness.

While my brother was never the type to say “I love you,” I knew he did. After our mothers death and I was adopted, he kept tabs on me. He took pride in the fact that I was the first person in our family to graduate high school. He even drove one hundred miles to come to my college graduation. The year between high school and college he gave me a job at his construction company. I was not a very good builder, but I could carry lumber, get supplies, clean up after the crew and do other jobs. Even when it was difficult to keep employees, he kept me on board (when I should have been the first let go) to earn money for college. When I was given a newer car by someone, he bought my old car (my first car), not because he needed it, or could even use it, or even afford it, but just so I would have an extra money for college.

He never said it, but I always knew he took great pride in me. He always teased me about being a minister but I also saw the smile on his face when I received my doctorate. It was in his later years after he remarried that he returned to church. We were typical brothers. We argued, we disagreed, but we were family and we loved each other. I hurt for not just my loss, but Paula’s loss and his two girls and his grandchildren.

My brother taught me how to be a man. He taught me how even when your own personal life can be in the pits, you can still make a difference in the lives of others. He taught me that there is a satisfaction in doing something for someone else. That is the type of brother I want to be.


6 thoughts on “Being A Brother

  1. Kathy Allen

    We’re so sorry for your loss. You were blessed to have 2 families that loved you in their own ways and provided the background for the caring man you’ve become. Your background has given you insights to seeing families differently than some – which is a great advantage in your field. Our prayers are with you as you grieve this sudden death of your brother. God Bless!

  2. Pamela Buss

    It is a wonder the ways God works in our lives. Family is more than just something you were born into or privileged to be accepted into. They take work…and lots of it! Some take more than others. It is through those efforts that we are shaped, and it is because of those efforts that we cultivate depth, honor and commitment. It is often in retrospect that we realize the intricacies of the foundation those relationships have provided. It is in solemn commemoration of what we had, once it is gone, that we pay homage to the blessing God granted for our lives. I’m so sorry for the loss you feel in passing of your dear brother. May your heart find peace in the wonderful memories that bring you smiles and may your soul rejoice for the efforts you shared in forming a special kinship. Thank you for sharing your insights. Much love to you!

  3. Penny

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. It sounds like you and your brother had a very special relationship.It only takes the reading of your blogs to know that you have carried forward the life lessons he taught you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s