I knew my brother for three years before he became my brother. I was young, he was just a kid, and those three years hold for me some of my most precious memories. Cruising around Chicago in the Urban Outreach van; making phone calls for him to the girl he liked (whose father did not permit to talk to boys on the phone); planning dances and events for the kids at APMA, David and I packed a whole lot of life together into those three years.
One of my favorite memories is from the banquet dinner at the Golf for Kids event that Mike Holmgren sponsored that helped raise money for my After Hours program at North Park. I brought David with me to the event to speak at the dinner. The event also benefited Covenant Harbor through camp scholarships for urban kids, and so a young girl who had attended camp on one of these scholarships spoke before David. Her speech was incredibly polished and sounded little like the words of someone her age. David got up next, spoke from his heart, and at the end closed with: “And my mom didn’t write this” or something to that affect. I was at once mortified and totally amused.
Today is David’s birthday, and as I walked the track at USC tonight, I marveled at how the kid who I used to drive across the state to see throw a shot put has grown into a man I respect, admire and very deeply love. And whether it is snowboarding outings with Doug or homemade Phad Thai dinners or teaching Mercy to fish, I can’t imagine our family with him not in it.
There is a recurring theme in scripture of sons being given to those least expecting it, and so often these stories are used to highlight how totally generous God is. That is true for our family. We were given a gift that we could not have imagined or planned for; a gift that has changed us all for the better; a gift that reminds me how much God loves us.
I love you, David. My kids will never know our family without you in it and I am so very glad for that.