Today is the second Sunday of Lent – and my younger brother Dwight’s birthday! The caboose of our family: #5 of 5. We are celebrating the gift of his life. Dwight’s life is rather miraculous. Born with a hole in his heart, doctors told my parents he might not make it to 10 years of age.
Papa often recounted what happened once when Dwight and I were toddlers. We woke him up with terrible croup coughs in the middle of the night. Due to the hole in Dwight’s heart, Dr. Dewalt said, “Bring the littlest one in.” After a few days in the hospital, Dr. Dewalt called Papa, “Come get your son. He’s causing a ruckus over here!” Dwight was pushing a chair up and down the halls giving extemporaneous drum performances for everyone.
Dwight was hospitalized several other times as a child due to concern about his heart. But the hole closed up, miraculously, and he ended up taking care of our bedfast quadriplegic Papa for 13 years before Papa passed.
My brother is so humble. He has a heart of gold, solid gold. He may have had a hole in his heart to start with, but I always knew he had the biggest heart. He inspires me! He is steadfast. Generous. Talented. Tenacious. He has a zest for life and does joy all the time. His infamous puns contribute daily doses of Holy Hilarity.
His infectious humor lifted us daily during Papa and Mama’s caregiving.
Life is a gift. We often take it for granted, but birthdays provide an opportunity to be grateful and celebrate (although we can certainly be grateful every day.) 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: whole hearts overflowing with love!
“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 & whole hearts
Virginia : )