God gave me a unique and Christ-centered family heritage. My dad has been gone for twenty-three years in June and my mom passed away in November of 2007. I have one brother, almost four years older than me. He likes to remind me that he is also four years smarter. I don't tend to argue.
Like most siblings we had our share of rivalry growing up but we generally got along well, with me tagging along a great deal with the older boys. Since we were always four years apart our teachers were always comparing us in some ways. (Tom would finish elementary school, junior high school, or high school, and then I would come along, etc.) This did not create a problem but it did generate a few laughs along the way. Thomas William Armstrong (1945) was born at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where our father was an army officer serving as a dentist during World War II. When the war was over dad and mom settled in a little place called Watertown, Tennessee. When I came along, in March of 1949, the family moved to nearby Lebanon, a town of seven or eight thousand people then. Today it is a much larger town that serves (almost) as a suburb to Nashville because of the Interstate highway system. Tom and I went to public grade school and then to Castle Heights Military Academy from seventh through twelfth grade. Tom then went to Baylor University (pre-med) and I to the University of Alabama and later to Wheaton College (history and theology). He finished medical school at the University of Tennessee (Memphis) and then began his medical practice in Huntsville, Alabama, where he still lives. I stayed in the Chicago area and the rest is history.
We have tried to keep in close touch and still talk many times a week. It is great to have a brother who loves you, loves the same Lord that you do and honors the parents you both knew so well. We are extremely grateful to be brothers in the flesh and brothers in Christ. Sharing three days this Memorial Day weekend has been a very special treat for us. The photo above was taken on Friday night at a minor league baseball game, where else? Our dad took us both to baseball games in Nashville when we were little kids. Tom still likes it, now and then, but I got the real bug and love the game at a whole different level, proving that you can see from the photo that we are related but we are also very different.