Thursday, March 29, 2012

My brother’s keeper

It has been a month since C Jnr (the younger of the two brothers) chose the street instead of the house. Three times he felt remorse and returned, but I fear that there will not be a fourth. We have already received reports of a return to the old ways. Such sadness, especially as he was integrating so well with the other boys.

Although ostensibly very different characters, it is not hard to find similarities with his older brother, C Snr. A desire to please, an ability to make friends easily and a cheerful demeanour. Unfortunately, in the wrong context such qualities can also lead a naïve boy to the wrong kind of company.

C Snr shares a class at school with our resident Wild Child - E - and often after school he’d lean into my ear to share the latest public behavioural issue (“he made a scandal in class today, again”). Often I will retort with a plea to rein-in E’s wilder excesses at school, if he can. “Help me in this.”

C Snr serving the little ones

I found myself saying the same thing - but in a different context - to him the other day. In the rush and tumble of the house, it is surprisingly difficult to grab time to talk one-to-one, but during one such moment recently I asked him for his thoughts about his brother, and the future. Was he aware of the probable necessity of looking out for his younger brother later in life, to take on that role? He was, he said, staring at the floor. I desperately wanted to add “But it’s not meant to be this way! You’re not meant to be playing the role of Dad. Not now. Not with your brother.

I sometimes find it hard to contain my anger when I think about how many of the boys have been robbed of their dads. By their dads. Abandoned, or (more often than not) never there in the first place, they are forced prematurely into adulthood by having to provide for the needs of their younger siblings and their mother. Needs which can only properly be met by a father and a husband.

I was at my dear Auntie’s house over Christmas, and there - poking out of an old cabinet in the kitchen, nestled among some memorabilia and photos labelled “some family and friends” - was a picture of C Jnr when he first came to the house. A self-consciously defiant look, with eyes pointing away from the camera’s lense and lips pursed. I miss that awkward smile. I miss C Jnr.

not to be forgotten

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can only pray, that C. will come back in misery and with a broken heart, in doing it, him to find the open Door, ( even though, he does not deserve it, but who does...I dont!), and so, the Father daily expectantly waiting for Cs appearance to end with a barbecue to us all at the rescue house.
I also pray, the older brother not to get jealous in seen it.

Dear Luke,thanks for your zealous work in Him for them.
I Pray to you, Luke, to have your love for Him renewed every morning, so you can continue to help them, and others to come, to see Him face to face, in Him, F.

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