I was watching television today and saw the Ford Taurus commercial. It was about a young boy that is involved in a car accident and calls home to tell his parents he was sorry about the damage to the car. The father told the boy not to worry about the car, as long as the boy was okay.
That commercial reminded me of my brother Eli. Eli
was a drug addict back in 1980, and because he used the drugs in front of my
kids (he wasn't even supposed to have them in the house) I kicked him out and
did not speak to him for 10 years. In 1990, he ended up in jail for most of the
year. When he got out, he was clean and drug-free and returned to
Surprisingly, I introduced him to the missionaries from my church and, within two weeks, he became a member of my church. From that point on, he was the brother I remembered from my teen years. He was honest, hard- working, and always thought about others.
Well, my dad owned a Gold Wing motorcycle that he cherished. One day, my brother needed a way to work and begged my dad to let him use the Gold Wing. Reluctantly, my dad agreed. But he added the phrase: If you damage my motorcycle, you better not come back!
Eli never came back... You see, on his way home from work that night, my brother was hit and killed by a motorist. The day after my brother died, my dad and I went to pick up the motorcycle from the police impound lot. We couldn't believe our eyes. The motorcycle had received only a few minor scrapes. That was when my dad said something that made me realize just how much he loved his children (he never said the words, I love you.) He said, "I would rather have my son back than this motorcycle."
My dad sold that motorcycle for scrap two days after the funeral. He has not been on a motorcycle since. That's why I am so touched by the Ford Taurus commercial. That's also why I have to tell everyone to forgive and forget. I didn't speak to my brother for ten years, and then I was only allowed one year to make up for all the years I had missed. He died exactly one year after joining my church. I never told him I forgive him. I hope he knows that now..