The Power of Siblings


Wendell, Warren, Wayne, and Walter!  Sons of Albert and Ruby Pfohl.  Four brothers, each unique in personality, experiences, gifting, and calling.  One always says he is the better looking!  You be the judge.  Two weeks ago we all got together for the first time since 1977, just the four boys, for a few days of fun and reconnection.  Everyone promised, “What happens in Bonita Springs stays in Bonita Springs!”  That’s why Wayne never has to worry about me telling anyone what happened at Sushi Thai restaurant. 🙂  We were all caught off guard, and to be honest a little ashamed, that we had allowed forty-two years to pass without connecting as the Pfohl Boys.  Sure, there were many good reasons why we hadn’t been together.  But, there were many other stupid reasons we allowed that kept us apart.  In the end, we all walked away with a renewed commitment to stay connected as brothers.

Over the past two weeks, I have reminisced about our few days together and our life growing up.  Over and over again I have been reminded of the privilege of having three siblings, three brothers who love me and support me.  I have wondered what we could have done to have stayed better connected?  All too often I was simply too lazy to reach out.  I allowed petty hurts to become mountains.  I told myself, “If they want a relationship, they are going to have to reach out.”  I’m a fifty-nine year old man who sounds like a five-year-old having a meltdown because Billy wouldn’t share his Tonka truck with me!  Our time together was healing.  I am grateful for my three brothers.

So, here is another question I have wrestled with.  How do we help brothers and sisters who have a sibling with a special need or struggling with a life-threatening medical condition stay connected?  From our experience and years of observation, there is great power in the relationship between siblings in a family that has a child with a special need.  I would love to hear how you have fostered your children’s relationship with their siblings.  I am asked often how we did it.  So I am going to ask you the same question, how do you do it?  What has worked well?  I know there are many parents who could benefit from your wise advice and counsel.  Are there books you have read, counselors you have seen, verses that have been helpful?  Please be bold and take just a minute to share them with the rest of us.  The best way to do that is to respond to the David’s Refuge Facebook post.  We are all looking forward to your response.


The 2nd W