6 October 2010
Today is my brother’s birthday. He was born on this date in 1950. I was thinking about him this morning, thinking about growing up, thinking about all the years between then and now. He is my only sibling and I could have asked for none better, though I wasn’t entirely convinced of his value when I was a teenager and he was in first grade. The little brat nearly drove me crazy peeping around every corner when my boyfriend visited. He listened to our words spoken only to each other, and repeated them verbatim to all who would listen. Bribes never worked with him, so the entire world knew everything I ever said to my boyfriend.
I grew up and moved away long before he even grew up, it was the age difference, you see. We met occasionally over the years and I found that my little brother grew up to become a truly wonderful man. I place great value in him now, and I hope he knows that. I tell him as often as I can.
Family is probably the most important gift that we are given. It ranks right up there with happiness and love in my book. I can count on the fingers of one and a half hands those of my blood relatives who are still with me; that makes them so much more important.
So I went about my day today, thinking of little brothers and families, and feeling a little bleak because my family numbers so few. My mind has a tendency to jump from one subject to another for no obvious reason, and today was no exception.
Since I have such a small family, I began to think about friends. I’ve outlived too many friends. My Granny Ninna used to tell me to not cry too long over anything, because as sure as one door closes, another one opens. That reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh, the artist who only ever sold maybe one painting when he was living. He was feeling depressed over one more door closing in his face, it happened to be a church door. He had failed at every attempt to keep a job when he finally applied for a job as clergyman. When he was denied, he created a painting of the church, and in his painting, the church has no doors. His brother, Theo, told him when one door closes, another one opens.
See, I told you my mind jumps. It leaped again, straight from Van Gogh right to Cubits. Cubits opened its doors to members on January 30, 2010. I think I was the third person in the door, I was in such a hurry. What followed was much like a cavalry, a stampede running to get through the open doors, too. Here we are now, a little over eight months later, a great number of people, much like a family; a big family to make up for the dwindling family numbers that some of us are left with.
We didn’t close those doors behind us, we are free to go in and out if we want, and others can follow. But those of us who entered these doors, entered into a family. We brought old friends with us, and we made new friends quickly. We set our standards high, we opened our minds to unlimited horizons and we brought with us dignity and compassion and a world of new ideas. We talk of many things, we learn from others and we are eager to help those who need it. We have become a close knit family.
When I checked into Cubits this evening, a habit that comes as naturally as breathing these days, I found another birthday. October 6th was a good day for baby boys, I think. Our Dave and Trish have opened their doors to us, too, and shared with us the news of the birth of their child. We are a family.
I am not the only one who senses familial heart tugs today. I read the comments following Baby Boy Whitinger’s birth announcement. Here are a few of them:
“As I was reading the different posts, my heart started to swell like this was a close member of my family.
As I finish my evening, there is contentment in the air.
How is it that I can love you and feel so proud of you when I have never met you and surely never will??
This is the best thread since cubits was launched. I love how we are all here together celebrating!
~it's been a long time since I've gotten to share in a new baby~ what fun!
I think we feel like an extended family - a nice, warm feeling !
We are all like a huge bunch of aunts and uncles.
The Lord knows where to send new children! What a wonderful family this baby has joined!”
Heartfelt? Absolutely. We have become a family. Over the years people have come and gone in our lives. Sometimes their loss is heartbreaking, and we think we’ll never open our hearts to friendship again. But those of us who truly care can’t seem to ever keep those heart doors shut. Sometimes it takes the birth of a baby to remind us of our need for family and friends.
And sometimes all it takes is the birth of a baby to open our doors to unlimited horizons.
October 6th was a good day for baby boys and open doors.