So, it’s been one year. One year that I have not talked to you. One year since I have not had lunch with you. One year since I’ve heard a funny insult from you. One year since I’ve heard you laugh. One year since I have heard you say I love you, before you hung up the phone with me. One year ……… sucks.
You, however, do not know time. Heaven has no clocks or calendars. You are with our Savior and our mother. You are happy. You do not know any pain, sorrow, or heartache. You are living among saints. You are at the throne of God.
But, there are those of us that are here are still grieving and hurting. I miss you every single moment. I see a Care ambulance go by and I think of you. My boys go fishing and all I can do is think of you. I watch them play basketball and baseball and you come to mind. I look at your grandson and he looks like you and it makes my heart smile and hurt all at the same time. I didn’t even know that was possible.
I remember that dreadful phone call. “There’s been an accident. It’s your brother.” Those words! I remember throwing the phone and falling onto the floor in a crying screaming heap in my hallway. I have replayed that moment one thousand times since that night. I remember my children crying uncontrollably, because Uncle Freddie was gone. I recall telling my husband that I felt like an orphan now. I felt so alone that night, even though there were tons of people around me. Our bond was so strong and I felt like it was severed that night. I felt lost in the devastation. I remember, vividly, my youngest son bouncing the tennis ball off the refrigerator over and over and over. I told him to talk to me. He said I am angry. I could relate. I found myself going from sadness to anger over the next few days. It was and is still SO hard to move forward without you. I want to call you and tell you things. You were the one person that I could say anything to and there was no judgement. I remember looking for scripture to help me. One of them stood out more than the others. It reads, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Another thing about you is you never ever got over the death of our mother when you were in your late teens and I was in the middle of mine. You were heartbroken. You and she were best friends and you loved her with everything you had. The day she went to Heaven was a day that you never recovered from. My heart rejoices in knowing you are finally with her. I don’t know exactly what Heaven is like when you get there, but my mind has a picture of her waiting for you with Jesus. I hope that’s true.
Some of the things that I remember about you - You always made people laugh. You had the ability to make the best of every situation. You always had a joke, no matter how dumb or inappropriate it was, you would tell it. And those pranks - I remember them well. I also remember some of your not so finer moments. Throwing a fit about a Christmas present, the turkey fiasco of 2012, not speaking to me once for about 6 weeks, because I told you that you were not handling a particular situation correctly, turning the boat when we would go fishing so you were the only one able to cast in the sweet spots. Oh, and let us not forget that you were the king of forgetting your wallet when it was time to pay.
You also gave of yourself. You went back to school to learn to be an EMT, so you could help people. You stayed indoors at a cubicle for over two decades, which drove you crazy I’m sure, so your kids would have insurance and would be provided for. You were a volunteer fireman with Burkville FD. I received messages from people saying you mentored them. You worked with the youth. I was told you would always find the one kid that was standing alone,
the one that seemed different from the group. You had a heart
for them. I read a message that said that said you were the one that told them
about Jesus. I know you stayed at work once for a coworker whose mother was
sick, so she could care for her. You would drive almost an hour to watch
baseball or soccer for your nephews. You took them on numerous fishing trips.
They loved staying in the summer with you. I am so grateful that they have
those memories of you. The last time we had lunch together you said you had
something that you wanted to talk to me about. I was kind of concerned, because
seriousness was not in your nature. You told me that you wanted to be a foster
parent, because there are so many kids out there that just needed someone to
love them. We discussed that in your county it would probably be black children
that you would foster. I said, so. You wanted to know what I thought about
that. I said that I thought it would be wonderful and then you made the comment
that our grandfathers would be rolling over in their graves. We laughed and made
politically incorrect statements about what they would think. Everyone in the
restaurant was staring at us like we had lost our minds. I am so thankful that
God gave me that last precious moment with you.
|His fireman's turnout gear|
So, a year, a really long year, without you. You took care of me for 47 years. I could type forever about you and tell stories for days. I will carry on like you would want me to. I will get through today, the next day, and the next. I love and miss you forever.