When I was growing up, I used to wish that I had an older brother. Since I was the firstborn in my family, I soon figured out that it wasn't possible for me to have a biological older sibling, and my parents were quick to let me know that I probably wasn't going to get any other younger siblings, boy or girl. So, that left me with only the prospect of getting a brother through marriage to my sister. Russell will be quick to tell you that he's not my older brother, but I am thankful that he is married to my sister and that he is in our family.
I remember the first time we met Russell. He had traveled with Jeanette to attend the wedding of our longtime family friend, Lara Chappell, in Griffin, Georgia. We had already heard about Russell and knew that he and Jeanette had been dating, but it was pretty evident once we saw them together that they were in a serious relationship. Heck, they might have been unofficially engaged at that point, but didn't let on. Later that same year (2002), our family had a wedding of our own, and welcomed Russell into the family.
Some of the things that I am thankful about Russell are:
- His love and committment to my sister.
- He is a loving daddy to Erica and Mary Lane and it's been fun to see his joy at watching them grow.
- He works hard to provide for his family and has been going to school to get his master's degree in marriage and family counseling.
- He likes to hang out with his nephew and talk sports and other "guy" stuff with him
- He has been a big help to my parents in many different ways.
- He is a growing follower of Christ and has a heart for ministry and missions.
- His loyalty to his favorite sports teams is fun to watch and he actually converted me to be a Rangers fan during this year's ALCS and World Series.
I'm thankful that I finally got a brother in my life, even if he isn't older than I am. I think I can get over that part! :-)