He Hath Returned, Safely

I have mentioned before that my twin brother lives with his wife in Italy. He retired from full-time employment three years ago.

Restless to return to doing good after retirement, he was accepted by a prestigious voluntary agency based in Europe to serve as a volunteer and to help people build communities with more substantial and sustainable infrastructure. He also teaches English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Polish, Amharic, Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, or whatever else works where he volunteers. He is an amazingly gifted man.

I cannot believe that the last time I saw him was in May when he came home to rescue me in the midst of a medical crisis with my spouse. Then almost as soon as he returned to Italy, he…

…went back to work on a long-term assignment by his voluntary organization in June. This time he went to the Continent of Africa. No, nowhere near the countries of current concern regarding a massive disease outbreak. But the poverty, subsistence living, and needs remain dire.

I had a few conversations with my brother while he was away, but very few and far between. I often called his wife for updates, or just to find out how she was doing.

So imagine my surprise and joy to have a phone call last night from my brother. He is back home in Italy! Yahoooo!

He had some stories that were frightening about where he took some risk and his life was threatened once or twice. I don’t want to go into more details; I am still somewhat shocked by what I heard.

My brother will soon go to Geneva for a week of counseling and decompression. His wife will go with him. After that, he will return to his home in Italy and work on recovery, relax, and spend quality time with his wife and her family who live there.

Great news! My brother promised that he and his wife will come home (where I live and where he grew up) this year for Christmas! Yippie!

I only want two things for Christmas:

1. A healthy husband (faith prevails that this year will be better than last year’s awful holiday) and

2. That big lug of a brother who I admire, love, and cherish.

No “stuff”, toys, boots, or whatever. Just love.

Life is short: share reasons to be happy!