I have three siblings, two brothers and a sister. The oldest brother lives in Ohio, as does my sister. The second oldest lives fifteen minutes from me now, which has given us a chance to reconnect. I am the ‘baby’ by a substantial margin (my brothers are 14 and 15 years older than I).
On Friday morning of last week, my Ohio brother considered the snow that was about to fall, and decided that right then would be a good time for him and his wife to take a Florida trip. He would, they decided, visit their Orlando brothers. They also decided that one of the brothers would be informed, and the other kept in the dark. In addition to getting up early and working with wood, surprises are a deep part of the Greenwald male DNA.
My brother’s intention was to sneak into the worship service of Covenant Presbyterian Church without the preacher, me, knowing about it. He was determined to savor the moment in the middle of my sermon when I suddenly saw him sitting there. And he almost pulled it off.
A minute before the start of worship Sunday, my daughter came to my wife and asked, “Isn’t that Uncle Jerry and Aunt Mary over there?” My wife then came to me and said, “Your brother’s here.”
So the surprise was blown, but the joy only began. That evening I had the rare, very rare, pleasure of sitting with my brothers and wives eating pizza, talking about kids, and being family. Family that has had its share of disruptions and brokenness over the years. But family nonetheless.
I consider myself richly blessed.