he comes for 2 short hours,
that brother who is younger, but not the youngest,
the brother who lives so very far away.
he comes here for a brief rest in the middle of endless driving.
comes for dinner
and instead becomes their delight.
they sit entranced as he tells stories.
a gift he may not realize few have ~ to keep these small bodies still.
their mouths fall open as he talks of alligators and snakes seen in his travels.
oceans crossed and foreign lands experienced.
and he calls them names like, "princess" and "buddy".
and they instead call him, "ben" until the reminder comes to add an "uncle" to the name.
we drive down that dark stretch of road, and he follows our lights until we reach that big ol' stoplight near the bottom of the hill.
we turn right as he turns left
and their tears begin.
they love strong, regardless of the changes.
they love strong, no matter the length of time between visits.
they love strong, because they are loved strong, here in this little home we've made.
and i give thanks on this seventh day of this month that finds us here...and for the uncle named ben.