When our parents thought they had their family raised, and well on the way to leaving the nest—surprise!
I was a sophomore in college when I got the call from my mother. “I have a surprise to tell you about,” she said. As usual, my mind was somewhere else. Will I have a date this weekend? I hate my hair! You remember those thoughts. Anyway, I was blasted out of my self-absorb stupor when I heard, “I’m going to have a baby.” If that statement wasn’t enough to knock my socks off, the fact that my parents still had sex, was. I was nineteen for heaven sakes. What were they doing having another baby? How would I explain this to my friends?
As it turned out, my poor dad had a lot more explaining to do than I did. Every time he went to the feed store or other establishments, it started. “Well!” They’d begin. “There’s snow on the mountain, but fire in the furnace!” That’s just the tamest comment I can print. I finally accepted the fact that I was going to have another sibling and went about my college life.
Our baby brother joined us that fall. He was a sweetie, and after his arrival we couldn’t imagine our family without him.
When my brother, Stan, left for Vietnam, Phill was just three. They had formed a unique bond in those three short years. My older brother confessed, when he was packing to leave, “I’m gonna’ miss that little man, as he always referred to him.
Losing a child leaves an open wound in a family, one that really never closes. You can never replace one child with another. It was a difficult time for our parents, but having that little guy around—always cheerful, and full of life, made things a little easier.
My little brother has grown into quite a man, all six foot-five inches of him. God gave us another brother at a time when none of us was ready for one, but in the scheme of things it was a blessing.