Today is my brother Dwight’s birthday. This morning as he was feted at breakfast with a feta & roasted onion omelet, he said, “I just want to have fun, now that I’m fifty-one!” An apt sentiment with celebratory vibes as we thank God for the gift of his life.
Dwight’s life is rather miraculous. Born with a hole in his heart all those years ago, the doctors told my parents he might not make it to 10 years of age.
Papa often recounted what happened during one of Mama’s MCV hospitalizations when my brother & I were toddlers. (That’s also when Papa learned how dirty cloth diapers made it from the messy pail into nicely laundered piles.) Dwight & I both woke up with a terrible croup cough in the middle of the night, so Dr. Dewalt told him, “bring the littlest one in.”
Dwight was hospitalized several other times as a child due to the doctors’ concern about his heart. But the hole eventually closed up, miraculously, and Dwight ended up helping take care of Papa’s last 13 years here in Williamsburg before he passed.
My brother is so humble. He is such an inspiration to me. He has a heart of gold. Solid. Ever since we were inseparable as children (‘two peas in a pod’) I always knew he had the biggest heart of anyone I know. Steadfast. Generous. Talented. Tenacious. (He has two masters degrees from top universities.) He has a zest for life & does joy all the time (punning it up regularly.) His infectious humor lifted us daily during Papa & Mama’s caregiving & continues to buoy me today.
Life is a gift. We often take it for granted, but birthdays provide an opportunity to be grateful (altho we can certainly try to do grateful every day) & to celebrate. Yes, it’s Lent. We don’t focus as much on joy – but this whole season is about the love of God, which surely is something to rejoice about.
“Birthdays are important. On our birthdays we celebrate being alive. We should never forget our birthdays or the birthdays of those who are close to us. They remind us that what is important is not what we do or accomplish, not what we have or who we know, but that we are, here and now. On birthdays let us be grateful for the gift of life.” Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
grace, peace & birthday cake(s)
Virginia : )
p.s. Texting back & forth this morning with our older brother Dean (who got Dwight started in fun puns), Dwight shared his sentiment: “I just want to have fun now that I’m 51.” To which Dean replied, “Now that I’m 56, I just want to get my kicks!” 🙂