I finally finished the book simple little words. The last chapter entitled Siblings is worth a re-tell.
Fifteen-year-old Vicky and eleven-year-old Michael were like most sisters and brothers. They drove each other nuts. Both knew exactly which buttons to push to irritate the other.
Vicky remembers, “We fought like cats and dogs-especially when our parents were gone. Michael was always getting into my stuff and invading my room. you know, just being a typical little brother.”
The two usually went their own way, but one sunny day, they decided to walk together to the K-Mart near their home.
They started down the dirt road, Michael stirring up clouds of dust as he kicked at rocks along the way.
He was chattering away, and for once, Vicky really listened to him. She looked at his freckled face, the straight hair falling across his forehead, his eyes sparkling as he laughed. And it hit her. Her really was a wonderful little brother. The way he expressed himself, his sense of humor, and his outgoing personality all held the promise of the remarkable young man he was becoming.
She stopped him. “Michael, I need to tell you something. You’re the best brother in the world, and I’m really blessed to have you as my little brother. I just wanted you to know that.”
She hugged him and them the two continued on their way, the words forgotten as they browsed through the displays at the store.
Two days later, Michael died in an accident.
And Vicky remembered those words she had said to her brother, grateful she had taken the opportunity to tell him that he was special to her–while there was still time.
Years later, she realized that on the country road that day, God had visited an insecure teenager who was about to face a loss that would shake her to the core, and he had prepared a way to carry her through–without regrets or guilt.
No, she hadn’t realized her and Michael’s days would be so short, those moments so fleeting, but for the last forty-five years, the fact that she said those words to her little brother have been a comfort to Vicky’s heart.
Why are we so stingy with our words when they have the power to touch a heart, to change a life, or to brighten someones day?
This one was near and dear to my heart because of the loss of my own brother 32 years ago. Although I don’t recall any last opportunities to vocalize my love and care for my brother, I am grateful that our relationship evolved from that typical brother/sister relationship as mentioned in the story, into one of genuine friendship.
And that’s no small gift.