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Second Birth

My brother arrived only two years and ten months after me, but his arrival is ingrained in my memory. I had the measles and was banished to what felt like the farthest corner of our small cottage in Romsley; separated from everyone else.

I remember the intensity of my feeling of resentment. Terrible as it sounds now, in my mind, there was only one word for this interloper--poop. Poor Robert did nothing to deserve this.

Throughout my childhood, he was my partner in endless battles, unless someone dared to pick on him. If that happened, although I was the victim of bullying myself at school, Tiger Girl took over, with a fury that banished all fear. I once chased an older boy around a field with a dog leash swirling over my head like a medieval flail because he was threatening Robert.

A while ago Robert described how important it is to him to make sure Mum's clothing is clean and not stained in any way and we remembered how she always kept us “spotless” (her word). We laughed as we remembered the spit on a handkerchief method that Mum would employ and I reminded him of the big brown birthmark on his thumb that he had wanted her to “get off” when he was little. Mum’s response was, “But that was why I chose you.” She told him that out of all the babies, she saw him, and noticed that he was special because of that mark!

Yesterday he told me that he had been by her bedside, holding her hand, then said that he was just going upstairs to his flat for a few minutes to wash some dishes. Mum stroked his face and hair with the back of her hand, and said, "Don't be long," with much tenderness. Robert commented that so much can flow through a touch. We spoke of when Dad was in hospital and had just days to live, six years ago. He and Dad had a very painful relationship, added to by the alcoholism that plagued Dad's life. In those last days, the real person that he was came to the surface and for the first time, Robert received the blessing of Dad's affection. This morning Robert remembered how Dad, with his big soft hand (by then,) rubbed his right arm and said, "Robert, you've lost weight."

Robert said, "Then I knew that he was seeing things." But it was the first time, for those brief hours when Dad was lucid, and also not under the influence of alcohol, that Robert felt his love and approval.

When Mum stroked his hair yesterday, Robert said that the hairs stood up on the back of his kneck and he almost felt as if Dad was there.

Mum is being attended to by a flock of helpers--the district health nurse, her doctor, social worker and her Helping Hands ladies. She is surrounded in much prayer and I am praying that we get there in time to tell her how much she means to us.

Tonight Brenda and I fly.


As tears fill my eyes, I can only offer my prayers for you, your Mom and Robert ...
Brenda said…
Dear sister, What a touching story! It reminds me of my own dear brother receiving a much needed blessing from our father near the end of his life here on earth. God is so good. He knows what we need most.....And you need to be with your dear mum. I believe with all my heart that you will make it in time.
Belinda said…
Thank you for your good wishes, and prayers, which are the most precious thing.

God's timing is not necessary ours, and I trust him, no matter what happens.
Susan said…
Now it's today that you fly...

I should say "we" fly. Do you know how many of your friends are going with you? You can't see us, but we'll be there... Good thing they don't charge extra at the airport for all the love you're carrying with you. :)
Julie said…
Belinda, you touched my heart so deeply today. I know the Lord has put our paths to cross and your sharing today reached deep inside to my heart. Praying the Psalm 23 daily for you. Love and Blessings
Joyful Fox said…
Today you go. I am there with you. Right there.I will pray for all 3 of you and Robert too as God calls you to mind.

Love you so much.
Belinda said…
Thanks so much friends. I read today's Daily Light this morning and it talks of chariots of fire that surrounded Elisha. I think there will be some surrounding the plane. Don't be alarmed if you hear about it on the news. In fact, the whole reading was so encouraging.
Marilyn said…
This is such a special time, Belinda. There are no words. Your reflections and memories are very moving. Thanks for allowing us to travel with you, down Memory Lane and across the pond.

God's timing is not necessarily ours, no, but it's always right and we can trust it.

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