Brothers and Sisters Stick Together Regardless

Chris —  November 3, 2009

The primary way that the New Testament describes the relationship between Christians is that we are brothers and sisters.  The point of this post is that we should relate to our local church as to family.  If you understand this truth, you need not read the rest of this post).


I’m the second of six children (Shelley, Chris, Mary Dawn, Danny, Rusty, and Erin) so I can work with this brother/sister picture.

I remember launching water balloons off the roof of our farm house at my sister’s first date. We stole the same guy’s hubcaps. He was a champion sprinter but I had a motorcycle.

My brother, Rusty, once shot my brother Danny in the eyebrow with a bb gun. Danny was looking out of a knot hole in the barn when Rusty shot him. Fortunately, Rusty was a little off center and Rusty plunked him in the eyebrow. Ideally, little boys with bbs lodged in their faces seek medical attention, but my brothers feared my mother more than infection. The bb stayed put. Years later, a surgeon removed it when Danny was getting medical attention for reasons which involve another story.

Danny has the leading role in many of the Brauns sibling-stories. Depending on how you look at, he was behind the wheel when two of my sister’s cars went to the happy hunting ground. Danny was driving Shelley’s Chrysler Cordoba when it caught fire and burned in Bonaparte, IA. He had previously taken her Mercury into a tree in the state park. Strictly speaking, Danny wasn’t totally responsible for this car because Mary Dawn had previously wounded it when she plowed through a mailbox. Danny was with her at the time and to this day no one knows quite what happened. The mailbox, for the record, was on the opposite side of the road.

One year Mary Dawn was cutting down sweet corn when Danny tried to show her how he could disarm her of the knife. You know where this story is going. His hand was cut bad enough that he had to go to the hospital. Mary Dawn was too traumatized to drive, so Danny had to drive which might have been okay if (a) he was not losing blood at the time and (b) he was old enough to have a driver’s license.

Lest I exaggerate, Danny didn’t always drive himself to the emergency room. Mom drove when they pumped his stomach.

Danny was also present when I became violently ill with appendicitis while we were sledding. We were in the pasture at the time, a good walk from home, and there was nothing to do but for my brothers to pull me home on one of the sleds. They made it about 20 yards before they decided it wasn’t worth it and left me in the snow, at which time I figured out that I had the strength to walk home. My sickness meant a delay in Shelley getting her braces off so she accused me of faking, but I was gloriously vindicated when they did surgery.

Here’s the point.  Christmas is less than two months out. As is our custom, the Brauns siblings will get together. Brothers and sisters stick together, bb gun fights and wrecked cars notwithstanding.

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14 responses to Brothers and Sisters Stick Together Regardless

  1. *hearty laughter*

    Can’t wait to share this with the “Danny” in my life!!!

  2. My memories of most of these stories is either begging someone to tell me again as a bedtime story, being traumatized as I heard mom answering phone calls, or watching in horror as Danny was bleeding profusely. I do remember visiting various rooms of the house attempting to mend fences and comfort those involved. I am glad I was too young to be blamed…unless one might think of blaming one’s younger sister for breaking a crystal dish… 😉 I’ll try to remember these stories as I’m loving my church family…maybe someone not smiling at me in the hall doesn’t seem so bad after all!

  3. Erin, you did break that crystal dish for the record. The problem was that I was supposed to be watching you at the time (and that I hid it).

  4. I love this! Erin, I am the youngest child in my family of 7. All the older ones tell stories that aren’t familiar to me and when I ask more details, inevitably one of them will respond “well, Margie, that was before you were born!” Be thankful you do have a memory or two. You’re enough younger you can use your good memory (as compared to your elders’ poorer ones) to your advantage! Thanks, Chris, for the smiles. I remember hearing about Danny’s bb in the eyebrow! Let me guess, was the first date recipient of the water balloons off the roof named John?

  5. Well in my defense, I was set up in most cases. It was a plot from the other 5, all joking a side I guess it would have been a boring childhood without all those stories. But one thing I was innocent of, was that it was Rusty with Mary Dawn when she hit the mailbox!

  6. Margie – – Shelley insists this was not her first date. But, the guy’s name was “Randy.”

  7. It was Shelley’s first date!

  8. Danny is correct. Rusty was with me when I hit the mailbox. I’m certain that it was somehow his fault. In my memory I drove Danny to town for stitches… however… it probably would have been safer if he had driven. I was never a very good driver.
    I laughed when I saw the title of your post… I was always of the opinion that I could say anything I wanted to about my brothers, but if someone else started making fun of them, they were likely to get hit in the head with a pop bottle.
    Could we talk about the buffalo nickel now?

  9. I always feel a bit defensive when I hear these stories told to the whole world. I just want to say, as the mother, I wasn’t an absentee mother, and I did try to do a reasonable job of supervision.
    Mothers can’t be everywhere, and they did all live, and, as far as I’ve heard thus far were not responsible for the serious injury or death of anyone else.

  10. Mary Dawn — It’s always the Buffle Nickel episode with you. You need to read my book on forgiveness.

    This post has revealed many historical inaccuracies in my memory.

  11. Does anyone else remember being “locked” outside with a jug of Kool-Aid, so Mom could accomplish something in the house?
    Chris…I have to say some of my fondest childhood memories involve you. (not including the buffalo nickel)… I’ve told the story of the holes we dug in the yard a few times. What I’d really like to know is this… why exactly did we get banished to that farm in Missouri for what felt like the entire summer??? It was hot!!!

  12. Mary Dawn – – I do remember being exiled outside, with the line, “Don’t come inside unless you are bleeding to death.”

  13. So do tell about the buffalo nickel……..both “stories”!

  14. The responses from your family are as entertaining as the post itself! Sharon, I’m glad to see your children are all alive… I too am a mom of country kids and I can understand how supervision is a little different out here! I like the banishment outside. I’ve thought about it, but seeing as how it’s been done before, I think it’s worth trying around here and I only have 4 kids… how else could you have gotten your house clean?