So September is a big indicator that the end of the year is nigh. After this month we enter the last quarter of the year and things definitely start winding down in preparation for that much-loved hibernation season known as the winter. In the run up to that great time of year the Dryden family runs into a glut of birthdays, first is my Dad – but you know that already. In October my brother has a month all to himself for a birthday. In November I celebrate my love for life and the good things God has given me. I used to be the last Dryden with a birthday in the calendar. Then on 29th December 2004 Deborah popped along to crock a snook at anyone thinking they could muscle in on things. Her birthday is ideally located between the excitement of the festivities and the excitement of the New Year activities.
A crucial birthday in among all that took place yesterday as my sister Ruth by the glorious grace of God made it to 33. Reflecting on her reaching this landmark allows me to reflect on just what an achievement it is and how far we’ve come. There are those who like to think that they have pretty much remained the same. No major change has taken place in their character even though they’ve experienced so much. I’m fairly confident in saying quite a lot has happened for both of us that have changed our characters.
Without going into detail the story of my sister’s life over the last five years or so would leave some people with their mouths agape at just how good God has been and how resilient and brave Ruth has been in it all. You cannot go through all of that experience and not have your character moulded somewhat. It would be easy for my sister to adapt a more cynical spirit in the light of some of the things she has endured and yet there burns within her a hope in God strengthened more than ever before.
On the one hand it would be fair to say that we’ve grown apart in those five years. Not to say we’re no longer in each other’s lives, on the contrary her place in the annals of the history of Christopher Dryden is already assured. She remains an incredibly strong and considered character. Her insight into things and capacity for equanimity is quite remarkable, she’s able to insist on something without being too imposing. Yet it is clear who the boss is in any given situation and I continue to pray for her husband in that regard!
You know the Bible talks about when you leave your mum and dad and cleave to your wife stating quite clearly that a separation takes place on marriage. There’s nothing said about the dynamic between brother and sister but I can say that there has been a definite shift in priorities where my wife is now the best friend and Ruth is focussed on her own issues. I’ve changed in that respect, but I still love having my sister around and being able to ask her for advice in given situations.
I see aspects of my sister’s character especially in my younger daughter Abigail – that clear minded thing about her that says it’s her way that will be the case and no one will say anything otherwise. Despite being the younger, Abigail has no problems being the bully when the mood takes her and I sometimes chuckle at what she can do to get her own way from the straightforward blunt approach to a more psychological factor. That’s Ruth all over, who now knows that she will get her way without saying a word. For all that though, Ruth is a tremendously loyal and caring woman. She takes it on board to be a conduit for all family manners and will keep in touch for all major personal milestones – anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
In so many ways Ruth and I have changed and yet there remains that huge admiration for all she is and all that she has overcome in my life. I pray that God will give her more grace to go on and achieve what God has in store for her.
For His Name's Sake