Seventeen. That's how old I was when my sisters first son was born. Just a child really. It was the summer in between my Junior and Senior year of high school. He was born early. Very early. Around 28ish weeks if I remember correctly. I wasn't allowed inside of the NICU- because I was less than 18. But I could look at him through the window. He was a mess of tubes, wires, monitors, and such.
Shortly after my sister began growing her second son deep in her belly. And before he was born, they all moved to Maine. I will never forget standing in the airport watching their plane leave through the window, tears streaming my cheeks. I would miss them so much. My sister, John, and the little chipmunk I'd yet to meet. They were gone.
Zachary made his appearance on the day I was graduating high school. He was full term, happy and healthy. It was such an exciting day- my sister had birthed her second child and I was graduating..........but I so wished I could have been there with my sister. I worried I would never get to meet him.
Later that summer she and the boys came home. She left her dreams of a family and father to her children in Maine along the cold shores of the ocean and returned here to begin her life again. A new life of single motherhood, not her choice, but her destiny none the less.
I was so glad that they were home, selfishly. I had missed them so much. I spent so much time with John prior to their move that it felt like a piece of me was gone with them. And to get to meet Zachary, my sweet little baby chipmunk nephew.........it was awesome.
Through the years I had the joy of having tons of sleepovers, vacations, trips to the zoo-monster truck jam-circus-baseball games- parks-camping trips.........I cherish the time I have gotten to spend with them. They were both in my wedding as I married their Uncle Dan. They both laid hands on my newborn babies. We've trick or treated, easter egg hunted and blown birthday candles. And I cherish them. And all the time that my sister allowed me to spend with them all.
And now- they are at the crossroad I was at when they entered this world. Finishing high school, preparing for college, picking a path for their life. Hard to believe.
Sweet boys- pick well. Think about your life, what matters most to you. Strive to achieve it. Don't become engrossed in worldly stuff.....it will not bring you joy. Love with all of your heart. Laugh. Find God......accept His son Jesus. Commit them to your world and serve them with your life. Be happy. Find love. Cherish your momma. Take your vitamins. Know that the gift of your time is as valuable as anything you can give to someone you love. Close your eyes and breathe in the scent of a coming rain storm. Live your lives with every ounce of energy you've got. Eat fresh vegetables. Forgive. Don't waste your time judging others. Never focus on the bad. Accept others. Give freely. Honor the Lord. Find someone you love to spend your life with. Grow into old wrinkly men with big Larsen noses.
I love you both so very much. Thank you for being, and for allowing me to be such a large part of your lives. I am so very proud to be part of your family and I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for your lives. Please don't ever grow too big to spend time with me, you are as much a part of my life as my own children. Now go................grow into the men the Lord has planned.