Wednesday, October 15, 2008
My parents have seven children, I am the middle child. I guess that would make me Four of Seven. For six years I enjoyed the honor of being the youngest child. Perhaps my parents couldn't stand the thought of having another little person after they had dealt with me, or maybe I was so adorable that they wanted time to enjoy every minute of me. This is one of those questions, never to be answered, because it doesn't really matter. The real story follows:
The great day came when I was six years old, my mother gave birth to a baby boy, his name was to be Kirk. When Dad went to the hospital to pick up my brand new baby brother, he asked me if I wanted to go along. Curiosity and excitement to see this new little stranger was voiced in a big "OK". When Mom came out into the car they placed this little bundle in my lap and my first response was "What's wrong with his face?" Years later after the birth of two other sisters, four children of my own, and twelve grandchildren,I now know that babies are toothless, wrinkled little people, and all of those things are perfectly normal. In other words nothing was wrong with his face.
From the very first I thought having a little brother was great. Not only was he a fun and very cute little boy, but he gave me something I had been wanting for a long time, someone to boss around. Kirk was a boy through and through. We have legends of Kirk and his friend Davy. My favorite story is about the time they started a fire in the basement so that they could dance around it. I also remember the day he found a jar of Vaseline and covered himself in it. Another time I was home sick, and I heard my Mom laughing, she carried Kirk into the room where I was. He had fallen into a drawer where we kept flour and was completely covered with it. He looked like Casper. Mom and I had such a great laugh together over that. All of us adored Kirk. His happy disposition, winning smile, and beautiful hair won everybody over.
Almost from the very beginning Kirk was an unbelievably driven worker. I can remember that one of Kirk's jobs as a boy was to weed the hill in front of our house. Dad would have him go out, and clear that hillside every so often. Kirk didn't like it, but his thinking was, "the sooner I do it, the sooner it will be over". This was a horrible, hard task and I was glad I didn't have to do it, but Kirk stuck with it until it was done. That's how he does everything.
This week Kirk found out that he has to tackle the biggest hill that he's ever faced. He has been diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma. Like that hill of weeds, he has decided to give it all he's got. Scores of us are rooting for him. He and his great wife Julie, their daughters Liz, and Amanda, are in all of our prayers. We are praying for a miracle. To my dear brother, Keep on weeding that hill! I love you.