Monday, April 2, 2012

Beloved Brother

My oldest brother Sanford has lived in Costa Rica as a self supporting missionary and pastor since 1968. Last week he suffered a serious heart attack and remains in critical care at the San Carlos Social Security Government Hospital. At 81, this came as a shock to all of us, since he had never been diagnosed with heart problems and was in reasonably good health for his age.

There were nine of us children in our family, and I am the next to the youngest. Sanford has always been a special brother, a powerfully positive influence in my life. As a teen he went through a time of anger and rebellion in which he gave my parents no end of grief, then turned his life completely around and became a consistently Christian model and mentor who’s been a great blessing to me, as have my other eight siblings.

It’s hard to think of him in this condition and not be able to be there to personally tell him I love him.  I so wish I could hold his hand, pray for him, and to offer my support to his amazing Martha, by his side through nearly sixty years. I’m glad all of their ten loving children have been with him this week, some who flew there from the states to be with their dad.

I’m told that when I was a toddler I called my brother “Gah-Tah” for some strange unknown reason. My older siblings repeatedly tried to correct me, would patiently tell me, “Now say, ‘SAN-FORD,’” carefully emphasizing each syllable. I would soberly repeat, to everyone’s amusement, “GAH-TAH,” with equal emphasis, thinking I was saying the name correctly.

Right now I would love to be the child again, and say from my heart, “Gah-Tah, I love you!” to my big brother. He would understand. He would cry and give me the big bear hug I’m needing right now.
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