Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts of Tom...

Today he's been gone for four years.

How do I describe my brother? Long and lanky. Deep brown eyes and curly dark hair which turned gray fairly early. Sensitive and thoughtful. Caring. Witty. Determined. Philosopher. Writer.

Although he was plagued by rheumatoid arthrits for nearly 40 years, he didn't complain. His body was stiff, his joints were 'frozen' and some were swollen. He hobbled when he walked with careful steps. He didn't care to fall. As lame as his body was, as painful as it must have been for him at times, he wouldn't give up. He still stood, as tall as his body would allow. He rested when he needed to, but he worked in his yard and on his hobby car and on his truck when his ailment would allow. He used his key at a time. The doctors were in awe of him, believing that he 'should' have been in a wheel chair long years before. He never was.

Those dark brown eyes were soft and warm, and when you looked into them, you often saw the playfulness in them. Sometimes it was sadness you might see, for the compassion within him was great. Always, behind those eyes, were deep thoughts....sometimes shared, and sometimes kept hidden.

As children, we shared jokes and laughter and silliness. As adults we shared a close relationship, revealing things to each other that others were never privy to. We encouraged one another. We were more than siblings, we were friends.

Today as I remember Tom, so many thoughts swirl. I think of his fatherhood, of his raising two sons, alone, after he gained full custody of them. He kept his home 'all male' as he raised them, not wanting to involve himself in relationships that would cause his attentions to drift from his boys. He also was protecting himself from the hurt that relationships had brought him in his earlier years. Later, after his sons had grown, he wondered if he'd done the right thing by keeping himself free of females, as he felt that his boys hadn't had the opportunity to learn from his example, how to treat women.

Whatever his regrets or feelings might have been, he made one right decision for certain. His deep faith in God caused him to live the best way he could, and with a strength that was misunderstood by some. Now I know that although I miss him dreadfully, that he stands in that strength in a renewed body, in a new land, with his God. How could I ever wish him back, just to soothe my selfish heart which is lonely for his company?

I couldn't...I wouldn't....for he lives in health and in peace and I know I'll see him again when the Lord takes me Home. 'Til then, Tom. Love you...


Just the other day, I was telling my husband how I hate waiting. I used to have more patience than most people, but these days, I seem to be lacking some. Waiting for anything is more difficult for me than it used to be.

I've spent time waiting in cars for children to be released from school or activities, waiting in lines at the stores, waiting for my turn in the doctor's office. In days past, I'd take it in my stride, and fill the time with something other than thinking about waiting. These days, for some reason, waiting irritates me.

At the moment, I'm waiting to hear a date when my mother's rental house will be empty. Since we are the ones who take care of the repairing and the business end of the house, we will need to make an 1800 mile round trip to do so. It would be nice if we could make a definite plan as to when we'll go, but here we sit....waiting for word. My patience is dwindling. As we listen for that phone call, we search for warmer clothing to pack, we locate the painting tools, we make lists of potential tenants to interview and gather phone numbers we might need while there. There is a lot to do before we go....things to buckle down the gardens for the winter, the last mowings, etc. We also need to get the house ready for guests for Thanksgiving dinner, in the hope that we will accomplish our jobs up north and be home again for that holiday. There's also Christmas to buy for, things that I normally do in October and November. With the addition of a trip of probably two weeks or so, I need to hustle my bustle.

Waiting is inevitable, and I really don't mind it when I know that there is a deadline. With pregnancies, you know that it'll come to an end on or about a specific calendar date. With holidays, you have a date to shoot for. But, this business is just keeping me on tinderhooks...and I'm getting antsy.

I guess I'd better just forget about the waiting and get busy. Maybe I won't notice the wait if I fill my days. The bonus is, I'll also get the work done!