Mr. Odds has been a busy, busy fella'. Funny how normal life can be so full of ... things to do, places to be, people to see. Tonight sort of became the night I had to at least write down, for others to know, that my cup nearly runneth over. We Odd folks just had a night out, but it was slightly more special than some other nights out.
My niece came out from the big city to stay with us, the third time she's done that this fall. When I was in college, I NEVER wanted to hang with oldies like us, but she's her own judge, jury, and executioner. What makes this small thing no such thing is how she found herself in Beantown, a freshman at one of the great schools. She got here without her dad's guidance, love, and company. Her mom clearly picked up the slack, but the deck was stacked. See, her dad's life was shortened through a barbaric act of violence six years ago (he'd be 47 for those who keep score). She could have gone off the rails, but somehow she didn't. Instead, she is a happy frosh doing the college thing, visiting her aunt, uncle, and cousins for a simple night out on the town.
For her uncle, though, it ain't no small thing. It is a miracle from the wreckage of my brothers untimely death. A mundane, everyday miracle to be sure, but nonetheless I can't believe my beautiful niece just broke bread with my two little Odds, who everyday are less little. When did she grow up? When did my own kids become so grown up? How did I get a chance to be more than an uncle to her? How lucky am I that Mrs. Odd gets it? I once hoped and prayed my niece would see us as her family, in our boring grandeur. I didn't pray for big miracles, I prayed for small ones. And this one prayer may have been granted.
I think, now, I may set my eyes higher. I pray I'm there to walk her down the isle for her wedding, or at least there to watch her mom have the honor. I pray I see her full of life, happy and fulfilled. I pray she is as whole as she can be. I pray that my brother knows I'm still here for him, doing what he should be doing. I pray that if things were different, he'd have done the same.