What do I need to tell my son about being a man? It’s what I think about as I stare at the single candle flickering in front of my brothers 8 X 10, a tight frame capturing his far-away eyes. Sometimes I know by looking, just a glimpse in the eyes, about the tale of the soul.

The way I knew her marriage wasn’t well the day she walked up to the swivel chair and looked at me in the mirror. The way I knew his heart hurt when he crawled into the passenger seat after school.

My brother’s eyes changed after he drove his mother’s car off the bridge that night.  It was my week of the summer to be his sister in real life.  After I went back home to my mother, the sibling relationship, it became a paragraph in books of stories I never read.

His body crosses into eternal, drugs invade like a thief with a key to the front door. I still remember the boy I called brother in footed pajamas, scooping chocolate refrigerator pie into his mouth at the kitchen table.

The day we got the call about my brother’s death, my son shoved four friends into lake water, blew out candles on thirteen and grew hair in new places.

And somewhere between their two lives, waves a prairie of pages scattered like tumbleweed.  Pages on the wisdom of manhood I’m collecting like a book in my mind to give to my son when he crosses the threshold.

Paragraphs that tell you how . . . .

I’m guest posting with my friend, Daniel Allen, where he blogs gritty wisdom for men following Jesus. Join me for the rest of the story here. I would like to know what you would say, if you were in my shoes.