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My Brother's Keeper

Updated on July 25, 2009

The Big Sister

“Beth, please keep an eye on your little brother,” my mother said. “I have to help get the food ready and your dad is going to move the car closer to the church.”

            “Okay,” I said, a bit irritated. I hardly ever got to play with my cousins, and now I had to watch my brother, too?

            We were at a relative’s wedding reception, in a church basement in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. At the time, I was about seven, and my brother, David, was two. I handed David one of his matchbox trucks and ordered him into a corner behind me. The cousins and I went back to playing. I didn’t give David a second thought.

Until my mother returned, looked around, and asked, “Where’s David?”

I’d never heard of the phrase “my blood ran cold,” but that’s what it did. I hadn’t seen him since I’d agreed to watch him. I glanced around.

“Is he with dad?”

“No, your dad left awhile ago to get the car. You’d better go find your brother.” Mom hurried off

I looked all around the church basement and didn’t find him anywhere. Then I noticed the doors that led to the steps to the street. They were open, just a bit. Enough for a two-year-old to squeeze through and follow his daddy. My heart sank. My mother had trusted me with her only son, my only brother, and I had failed. I went up those steps and started to pray.

“Please, dear God, help me find my brother.” I didn’t know how I was going to find one small boy who couldn’t say much more than “Mommy” and “Daddy” clearly. I didn’t know how I could begin looking in a big city when I wasn’t allowed more than a block away from home. I only knew that I trusted God completely, absolutely and unquestioningly. Even earlier than I can remember, I felt God’s unwavering love. So I knew that God could bring David safely back.

“Please, God, help me find my brother,” I said again.

The door to the street was open, too, just a crack. I pushed it open further and stepped onto the sidewalk. The streets were wet and the sky was grey. I looked first to my right, and then to my left, not knowing which way to go. I didn’t even know where my dad had parked.

I looked right again, and there they were. Three large men in dark suits walked down the sidewalk, two of them holding David’s hands. He didn’t look afraid. Relief flooded through my veins.

“Little girl, is this your brother?” one of them asked kindly.

I nodded and held out my hand for David. They let go of him and I ushered him inside. I began to help David down the steps, then I thought, I forgot to say thank you. I turned back up the steps and looked out the door. I looked to the right, to the left and to the right again. 

They were gone.

And it was a long, a very long, city block. Where would they have gone so quickly?

I brought David back to my mother, and she didn’t ask any questions so I didn’t tell her about losing my brother or the three men who brought him back. Were they angels? To this day I'm not sure. All I know for certain is that they were sent by God to return one small boy to one unworthy little girl in an ordinary family.


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    • Queen of the Lint profile image

      Queen of the Lint 7 years ago from The Laundry Room

      Thanks for reading! My brother still needs his angels - he's kept them pretty busy throughout the years and I don't think they're done yet.

    • profile image

      Yess! 7 years ago

      Q of L- I read this with bated breath. I am so glad it turned out so well. I believe we all have angels. Sometimes if we look close we might even see one (or two in this case). I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      How terrifying for a little girl! I guess you learned a hard lesson that day. But, with the innocence of a child -what could happen? - you played on. Maybe those guys were angels. I'm glad it all worked out well.

      I came to check out your hubs because of your name - Queen of the Lint is just great!

    • profile image

      Rhonda 8 years ago

      I really enjoyed this story it gave me some great peace.

    • Timothy Donnelly profile image

      Timothy Donnelly 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed your story. You were really blessed that day. Your title is catchy too. I rhetorically wonder if even as adults, do we have a dutiful obligation to be our brother's keeper? Perhaps your God-sent helpers that day knew?

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Really good descriptive writing. I felt like I was there watching everything. Loved it!

    • Queen of the Lint profile image

      Queen of the Lint 8 years ago from The Laundry Room

      Oh, no question about that Feline Prophet.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      There is indeed a God up there! :)

    • Queen of the Lint profile image

      Queen of the Lint 8 years ago from The Laundry Room

      I thank God it turned out okay. I only recently told my mother about where I actually found David that day.

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Not unworthy at all .. one very worthy girl she was! We all learn our lessons as we are growing up. And sometimes it is scary when we look back and think of what could have happened. God does look after his flock, doesn't he?

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 8 years ago from Sunny Spain

      I loved this, thank God it turned out this way I love a happy ending.