It’s not like me to insert a period in titles. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever done it. To me, a period represents finality, permanency – the end of a story. For this reason, I found it fitting to do so today. I hope everyone ‘gets’ my wording this post as if I were having a conversation with David – it’s just something I need to do. Somehow, some way… I feel he will see this. I do hope I’m right, because I never got to say goodbye to him.
The last time we spoke was mid-July of this year, this abominable year of 2020. It was then you told me your arthritis was so bad you had to leave your job, for good. I feel in my soul that this killed a big part of you, though you didn’t say it at the time.
We’d first met in junior high school and became friends. Later in adulthood, fate made us family by way of us each marrying a sister and brother. “Small world”, as they say. We went through much in life while being there for each other. Funerals, weddings, lifes ups and downs. Now your own funeral will be in a few days. As the tears fall, I try to come to grips with the fact I’ll never have you in my life down here anymore.
If there were a destiny meant for you down here – it was you being a Father. Brittany and Leanne, your two beautiful daughters, were your everlasting sunshine in an often bleak and gray world. You relished and appreciated both, spending every spare second with them. I often told you your smile was never bigger than when you had them with you. “Dad Day!!”, you would call it. I can’t imagine two daughters having a better dad. I am so glad they had YOU.
Although not related by blood, you were the closest thing to a brother I ever had in this life down here. Each being ‘only children’, I issued you that rightful Brother title shortly after the ending of my 21-year marriage. You often laughed at me for it, but also knew deep down it’s what I considered you. We went from being ‘in-laws’ to just brother and sister. Many conversations of what we both endured over the course of each of our marriages strengthened our bond throughout the years. I confided in you with 100% trust – knowing you understood, empathized, and would never share any of my secrets. I will SO miss this, David.
We used to talk about wishing for a sibling in life, which I suppose many ‘only children’ do. I knew losing your Mom and Dad early in life had to be very hard on you, you’d tell me often how much you missed them. I’ll never forget the day you called me at work a couple years back, immediately thinking something was wrong since you never called me there. Through tears, you told me you’d just found out you had a sister you never knew about. I was thinking, I’d never heard you cry before. Those were tears of joy, of course! You were so very happy… a sister you never knew about. You’d said you instinctively called ME to share the news. I now have to admit David, there was a twinge of jealousy there. Perhaps you realized this when at the end of the conversation I said, “I’M still your sister, always remember that”. I do think you picked up on that little green factor.
You constantly reminded me of how lucky Keith and I were to have found each other. I can tell you, he loved you too – very much. Guys don’t make a habit of telling each other that, so I want to make sure you know. Life isn’t always fair. As your sister, I was always trying to find you a ‘forever mate’. God knows, you didn’t need any help in that area. But, I never stopped trying. I wanted that “forever” for you that I knew in my heart you wanted, too. So, please forgive me for my antics in that area. Especially for some of the heartbreak it brought you along the way.
Lord, how you loved my sausage gravy biscuits. When you and Brandy would stay over with Keith and I, I’d make sure you had some to take home for later. I’m sure your faithful brown lab Brandy got some too. You also loved my chili (hope those weren’t just your kind words). Due to some constraints, I’d struggled with true home cooking until later in life, but you always made me feel like I was good at it.
I don’t want to close this. Dammit, David. I miss you… already.
Our dear friend Angie will forgive me for this – you loved Angie so. After her Mama’s funeral which we’d both gotten lost en route to, at your insistence I followed you back to Charlotte. We talked on the phone while listening to our favorite tunes, flying down the country roads. Back in town, we drag raced via interstate for over twenty miles at completely foolish speeds. I’d never driven that fast in my life… I wonder if you had, as well. You told me later that was the most free you’d felt in your entire life. I felt it too. Guess adrenaline’ll do that to you, especially us old farts.
Go and be free, brother. Until that beautiful reunion. Know that your sister loves you so. Forever.