Brothers and Sisters

by John C. Westervelt

Near the end of an hour travelogue on PBS, two children were shown running hand-in-hand in the sand. A pillow behind my head and the soft feel of the couch had transformed a weary body and mind into a state of deep relaxation. I suppose it was the relaxed mind that caused the scene of the children to conjure up memories of my own childhood when I ran and played with my brother and sister.

Time moves quickly. I left those playful years for junior and senior high school and college, followed by the navy and marriage and children of my own.

My children grew up, and I released them to enjoy friends and careers of their own. The grandchildren provided some of lifeís most precious years, but they too grew into busy young people with their own friends and interests.

My senior years are now upon me. I reached back in time for my running and playing childhood friends. For many years my brother Wallace and his wife Barbara have had me over for dinner every Friday. My sister Harriette and I share letters and phone calls. The four of us have vacationed together for a half dozen years. In May of this year we studied for a week at an Elderhostel in the Missouri Ozarks. In October we returned to our grandmotherís house in Hugo after a fifty-year hiatus.

My advice to all of you children, of whatever age, is to be a friend to your sisters and brothers; for a time will come when you may need them as a friend.

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