I remember the day that James Lindsay was born. It was March 4th 1984; I was 6 years old. My brother Matthew and I had been staying with a friend from church while mom and dad went to the hospital. We finally received the call...
"The baby is here!" we screamed and danced around in circles hugging each other continuously.
When we arrived at the hospital my mom answered the door grinning from ear to ear. We immediately asked her...
"What did you name him?" to which she responded so proudly "James Lindsay and we will call him Jamie".
Now understand that this was a huge relief to Matthew and I as mom and dad had asked for our opinions on names prior to this day. They had favored the name Andrew and my brother and I were adamant that he not be named this. We had a neighbor boy that smelled really bad and so Matt and I did not want our baby brother to be named that for fear he might smell as well. (This is no offense to my next brother that WAS named Andrew). Needless to say, mom and dad never consulted us children on names again.
I am the oldest of 5 children. I have 3 brother's and a baby sister with 10 years between she and I.
Being the oldest child, you feel a responsibility to your younger siblings. I've always felt the need to protect and teach them. I admit there were times in my life, that I could have done a better job. I myself went through teenage years of rebellion and fell short. Of course nothing that my gracious heavenly Father hasn't forgiven me for and always faithfully taught me valuable lessons through. In times when I've felt self doubt and guilt for not being able to live up to what would have been a "better example" the Lord has shown me grace and mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness not only from him but forgiveness for myself THROUGH him.
I took care of my siblings for years. My parents were very active in the ministry and I was the "built in" babysitter for many of those years. Jamie and I had a unique bond from the beginning.
He was quiet child, very passive, very sweet. He had my heart from the beginning and I loved to care for him. Jamie was always dirty as a young boy. He would play for hours outside and never seemed to mind having dirt and mud on him. I remember carrying him inside the house and trying to clean him for mom before our family dinners. Even then, he never fussed and would always let me as I kept saying "Jamie, mommy wants you to be clean for dinner time".
I was constantly writing and performing "plays" for my parents, relatives, people in our church and sometimes would summon our neighborhood for a production of "Super Book". Jamie loved hated it. I would always make him a lead role and would push for him to do them with us. I would constantly tell him that he was the best fitted for the role I had assigned and if he didn't want to do it I would plead with him "Please do not quit on me!". Jamie never quit, not in our childhood and not into our adult life.
As we became young adults Jamie and I became more than siblings, we became best friends.
We shared a common passion for sports, music and living life to the fullest. We both loved to laugh and could make each other laugh so hard that our stomach's hurt and tears would roll down our face. Jamie is very witty, very intelligent and would even "judge" his own jokes by giving scores of 1-10. He would also make me very aware of when my jokes would "fail" on the lower end scale of 5 or below. He'd also be the first to compliment me when it was an as he would say "Epic 10".
Jamie took me to buy my first set of golf clubs. We spent 2 hours at a sports store (had he not been there I'd have purchased the first "cute bag" I found and been done. Jamie wanted me to have the best so he stayed until he found clubs that he felt suited me best.
We went to the course every day for 2 weeks. It was awful. I was awful. I kept saying "Well gosh, it looks so much easier watching on TV!". After those 2 weeks, I wanted to quit. Jamie begged me for one final game so at 2pm on a sunny Tuesday afternoon we went to a small course near my parents home. I lined up for my first drive and he coached me as he always did.
"Christa, keep your head down, eye on the ball take a deep breath and let the club do the work. You can do this you're so athletic...I KNOW you can do this".
I swung....I drove the ball 180 yards.
He jumped out of the golf cart and ran up to me screaming "There you GO! There you GO! I knew you could do it". He picked me up and swung me around as if I had just won the PGA.
We played golf every summer for the next 4 years.
He was proud of me. He would encourage me. He would compliment me with the most sincere compliments.
The biggest compliment he gave me was this...I can quote this because I wrote it down.
"Christa, you know I love you, you're my best friend. Some people might take this the wrong way because you're my sister but I want you to know that when I find myself looking for a wife, I find myself yearning for the qualities that you have. I want a woman like you to be my wife". It is and forever will be the greatest compliment that I have ever received.
My brother went to be with Jesus recently on October 14th 2011. He was involved in a car accident in Nashville Tennessee and had a massive stroke which caused traumatic brain damage to his brain stem. The brain stem is the part of our brains which allows our hearts to beat and tells us to breath. It gives us the ability to support the basic functions we need for life.
I have read and am still reading "Have Heart". In the days to follow, I would like to use this platform to share who my brother was is. I refuse to speak of my brother in the past tense. He is very alive, more alive than we are. I want to share with you who he was and what he had become and the things he taught me.
I praise and thank my Father in heaven for the 27 years of the gift he gave me in Jamie. I have found more gratitude in my spirit over the last 3 weeks dealing with an unbelievable pain than I have found in the last 31 years of my life.
I hope you will join me to read about who he is, what the Lord has done for my life and my familie's life so we can all grow as brother's and sisters in the Lord and prepare for that precious day when I get to see my brother, my best friend once again.
I dedicate this blog to my beloved brother James Lindsay Caulk.