I know I've told you before about how much I love my little brother. I have since the day he was born, from what I remember (except for the notable exception when I asked my Grandma-on the day of Marcus's birth 24-years-ago today-if him being born meant I couldn't sit on my mom's lap anymore....ahhhhh). Marcus was the cutest kid, the cutest kid. Always a little prone to shyness, but would always do whatever needed to be done. Help mom clean? Sure (show off). Help Tesi try on dance outfits? Sure. He was good like that.
But it's funny how relationships change and grow in different ways as we get older. I still felt/feel fiercely protective of him but it became painfully obvious he could take care of himself as the years progressed. There was one thing I knew I could do, that was pray for him, and so I did.
After I met Zach and realized just how great and fun marriage could be, I started praying for my brother and sister to find that too. I started praying that they find people who can make them feel the way Zach made me feel, have a relationship that was so fulfilling like ours. I prayed that they'd find someone whose strengths matched their weaknesses and vice versa. A person who would challenge them, encourage them and love them. I also prayed that the people they ended up with would know that marriage isn't all butterflies and roses, that it takes work and sacrifice and determination. That it is no fairy tale, even the best ones. That marriage commitment is just that, a commitment to stick it out, to work it out, despite how so very hard that might be.
And about 2 years ago I started hearing my parents talk about Marcus dating a girl named Lindsey. Marcus had dated before, but it was primarily of the "group dating" variety with his friends. Nothing really serious. But I kept hearing more of this Lindsey person. Then I got to meet her and I was pleasantly surprised. Not because Marcus wasn't capable of picking good women to date, but because she was so great. Smart, funny, outgoing, didn't put up with his crap, gorgeous, looked at Marcus with googly eyes, etc. They were instantly really cute together. I saw Marcus in a way I hadn't for awhile (by nature of not being around him much when he was in college and I was in the family way) and that was this caretaker, nurturer, go-to guy. It was just so fun to watch them together.
Then Marcus got into the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Lindsey decided to transfer to St. Ambrose and last August the pair of them moved to the QC. Having spent more days and weekends playing cards, watching movies and grilling out together I was just in love with the two of them together. My prayers became, "Please don't let Satan screw these two up. Protect them. Nurture them. Encourage them. Bless them."
And so He did. On Thursday my brother proposed and Lindsey accepted. A whole new ballgame. I get to be a sister-in-law again (I'm thrilled) and Marcus gets a whole new "title" in his life, that of "husband". I have no doubts about these two. No doubts that there will be the very best of times, that they will be great for each other and to each other and that the times when they're not, they'll work through it and do what it takes to come out the other side together.
But for today, I'm just so happy and so excited for them.
Oh, and Happy Birthday baby bro!