Wednesday, March 27, 2013


By Jude Urbanski

“Can he stay for a month?”

I heard the plea in my nephew’s voice as he asked whether his father, my oldest brother, could visit for a month. My nephew lives on the East coast and his father on the West coast.

A bubbly gulp rose in my throat. A month was a long time. To say nothing of deadlines I had to keep and meetings expecting my attendance. Could I do it? I knew my nephew wouldn’t ask, if it wasn’t important.  I also knew I might be in this position sometime in my life.  My husband and I had just recently mused ‘who would be there for us,’ but with the question, knew our children would be.

“Yes.” There was no other response. I practically felt his relief through the phone wires. He was concerned and caring.

“I’m worried about Dad. He needs to get away from….”  

My nephew went on to detail several significant and serious reasons my brother needed to get away from his present environment for a while.  Life had become hard for my brother, who practiced denial well and thought he was still 50 or 60. He had already buried a wife and two daughters.

I agreed to his visit, all the while aware this was a brother I had spent precious little time around. He’s the beginning of our huge family and I’m almost the end. He could be my father as far as age. He left to join the Navy for World War II when I born. He served all over the world, retired from the Navy, turned artist with his God-given skills, and until a year or so ago, still fit into his uniform, marched in parades and went into school to tell kids about WWII. 

I have always held him in high esteem.

But could I take care of him well for a month? I questioned this more after expected family assistance did not materialize. The month, while not easy, unfolded with a cousins’ reunion more precious than money could buy, an Ohio WWII luncheon in which my brother ended up the key note speaker, a southern trip to the land of his birth where he received a hero’s welcome.

I got to know my brother as I’d never known him before and realize this will probably be the last time I see him. He left yesterday for his son’s home in Maryland. What the next step will be I don’t know, but I do know God had a plan for my brother’s visit and his visit to my household specifically.

Jude Urbanski, pen name for Judy Martin Urban, writes women’s fiction with inspirational romance. She loves to weave stories about strong characters spinning tragedy into triumph with God’s help. She is published in fiction and nonfiction. She is a member of ACFW and National League of American Pen Women.
Her latest book Nurtured in Purple, is book two in The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing and is published by Desert Breeze Publishing (

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Patti Shene said...

Jude, thank you for sharing your story about your brother. I think we all have fears about caring for our older loved ones as they (and we) age, yet those times together are so very precious.

J.B. DiNizo said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Liz Flaherty said...

How nice that, even though it was probably difficult, you have memories that would be irreplaceable.

jude urbanski said...

Patti, you are right about our fears with aging. This visit though proved beyond my expectations and I was the winner!

jude urbanski said...

J.B., you're welcome and thanks for dropping by. We often are given 'one more surprise' aren't we?

jude urbanski said...

Liz, shall not deny-it was hard, but yes, I was gifted with the good memories of my dear brother's visit. I want the best for him.

Crystal Laine said...

Wow, Jude, how many of your sibs are there?

This reminds me of my mother-in-law's siblings. She will be 95 on April 1st and she's the oldest of nine. Her youngest sisters (twins) could be her children--and her daughter (my husband's sister) is their age. (My husband is 20 years younger than his sister.)

What a story! Thanks for sharing it.

jude urbanski said...

Crystal, same as with your mother-in-law! Nine of us. My brother is also 20 years older than I. thanks for dropping by!