It was Christmas Day 2009, and the kids had just finished opening their gifts when Andy looked at me and said, “I don't have your present today, we have to drive to Nashville tomorrow to get it.”
I thought that was odd, but I didn't give it much thought. I assumed it was tickets to a show or dinner somewhere nice. In all honesty, I didn't care. Christmas 2009 was the worst Christmas of my life. Just one month earlier, I had laid in my daddy's hospital bed with him and watched him die. All I really wanted was for the whole holiday to just be over.
|Steven and Jill.|
|Elvis, I mean Steven, at Sun Studios, Memphis TN.|
As we rolled on down the road, I spent time checking my social networking sites. I noticed that my “little brother” was very quiet and that was REALLY odd. Side note: I am an only child, but I have a few friends that I claim as my siblings. Steven, an online friend from Seattle, is the one I had chosen to be the little brother I always wanted, but never had.
Steven had shown great concern for Dad when he was sick, and has shown genuine compassion and love for us when Dad died. Unbeknownst to me, he and Andy had been plotting and planning a huge surprise for me.
As we got closer to Nashville, Steven's quietness on Facebook and Twitter began to make me wonder if we were going to Nashville to pick him up at the airport. I finally asked Andy, and he confirmed that we were. He began to tell me how this came to be. He said that Steven had been concerned about me after Dad's death and had decided to make a surprise trip to visit me hoping it would lift my spirits. I. WAS. FLOORED.! My first thoughts were how sweet it was for someone to do this for ME. I honestly couldn't remember if I had ever had anyone go to such lengths to just be able to love on me and minister to me. My next thought was OMG! I'd never met Steven in person; we had only spoken on the phone a time or two, and the rest of our communication had been online. Would it be weird? Would it be a week filled with awkward silence? All of a sudden, I became VERY nervous!
After a couple of delays, Steven's flight finally arrived. I was EXTREMELY excited and a little nervous as we watched and waited for him. Finally, there he was.......wearing his UT orange. I can honestly say there wasn't a single second of awkwardness. It was truly like we had known each other all of our lives!
We began talking non-stop almost immediately and it didn't seem like we stopped for nearly a week. We spent the week laughing, touring Memphis (Steven does a heck of an Elvis impersonation) and talking. It was a week without sadness and one that I will never forget.
Thank you, Steven, for giving so much of yourself to come all this way to support and love on me. I made memories that week that I will cherish for the rest of my life! I love you and I'm incredibly thankful that you're my little brother.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times.......”
This is post # 31 of Forty Days. Learn more here.