Monday, August 22, 2011

21 for 31. Brothers. (Part 1)

Brothers - The Oldest.

Big brother fixing breakfast!

Darryl and I became acquainted when he was almost 7 years old and I was well, a newborn baby. I have a few recollections of our early years together. I remember him more as a teenager. I was probably the annoying little kid in his life, who he had to watch and help take care of. For years, I tried to do the things that him and his friends did, but they all rode a bike faster, hit a baseball further, and could actually catch a football. One of my earliest memories of Darryl is with our "go-cart." We had something that resembled a go-cart made for parts of an old lawnmower. Sometimes it kinda sorta worked and other times, we just pushed people in it. About once a week, Darryl would take the go-cart apart, just for the fun of it and then put it back together. This should have been an early indication of what he should do in life... Darryl's first car was this awesome old green truck. We listened to Contemporary Christian Music in the truck when Mom would make him drive me places. CCM wasn't allowed in our house, so I felt pretty special that Darryl and I had a cool secret to share. I was 10 or 11 at that time - that was a big deal. 

Darryl and I became friends when he joined the Army sometime in 1992. We wrote snail mail letters back and forth. I think those summers of him being away really helped both of us grow up. I wasn't dependent on my older brother to take care of me and he realized that God did not give little sisters just to ruin your life. After the summers away in the Army, Darryl went to Bob Jones University. (He's a little bit crazy.) I think he loved college life. Jimbo and I missed him, but did alright. We did not miss him making tuna casserole. Yes, everytime we talk to Darryl or about Darryl, we kinda have to bring up tuna casserole w/the crushed chips on top. To this day, we are not sure why anyone would think kids would like tuna casserole. Now, he just puts mushrooms in everything he cooks. So random.

I can't really say a whole lot about Darryl without talking a bit about Becky. Darryl met Becky sometime in 1994. They have an interesting story... They survived most of the their dating years at BJU. I didn't care too much for Becky at first. She won me over with multiple trips to the mall and a shared love for cookie sandwiches (aka dinky doozies.) With a little attitude adjustment, I came to love Becky and was happy when we added another girl to our family in December 1996. We used to write letters to one another too. She gave great advice to a crazy middle school girl. At this point, I have known Becky for more than half my life and cannot really remember too much of life without her. Darryl definitely married way out of his league when he got her!

Now, Darryl is the ultimate geek working with computers and a Dad to three of my favorite kiddos. We only work a few minutes away from one another, so he still buys lunch sometimes. Also, he still has that overprotectiveness that older brothers are born with. I'm not sure I could've asked God for a better older brother. I got exactly what I needed. We've been through a lot of good stuff and some bad times together and I wouldn't trade him or our experiences for anything. 

Becky, Darryl, and Jim - December 1996

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