Friday, March 31, 2017
And saying that final goodbye when we know it's for the best--well, I don't like it either. It's the selfishness in us that wants to hang on to the ones that we love one more day, to say those things that we've put off sayin' and to get one more hug, to see one more twinkle in the eye at an inside joke.
That's the way I'm feelin' this week as I say goodbye to my precious brother-in-law, Dr. William D. Brown after he's fought a battle with cancer for the past 17 months. He's always been Brother Bill to me because for more than fifty years he's been my big brother. Being the oldest child in my own family, it's nice to have someone just a little older to share life with and to call my brother.
Way back in 1966 he and his new southern wife, Marge, were the first ones to welcome me into the Brown family. They stopped by Tishomingo, Oklahoma on their way from California to Arkansas to meet me. Then when Mr. B and I got married, Brother Bill was his best man and Marge was my Matron-of-Honor.
But I have one bone to pick with Brother Bill. While Mr. B and I were getting ready to go on our two day honeymoon, he decorated the car. It was a fine job and I truly felt like a new bride as we left in that little blue car. But, and there's always a but to a good story, he also fiddle with something under the hood before we left. Now the idea was that we'd made it about a block down the road and the car would stall out. We'd have to walk back (remember in 1966 there were no cell phones) and get help.
Only the plan didn't work the way it was planned.
We got all the way to Washington D.C. and that's when the car decided to stall out--at every red light! Do you know how many traffic light and stop signs there were in Washington D. C. fifty years ago? I do! Somewhere in the neighborhood of eight million. And those folks trying to get from point A to point B did not appreciate a car holding up traffic while Mr. B tried to get the car to start again. That's where I got my very first lesson in road rage and figured out exactly what that middle finger on a hand meant.
I was ready to park that car beside the Washington Monument and call my Poppa back in southern Oklahoma to bring me a wagon and a couple of mules. And the only thing that saved Brother Bill from the wrath of a southern Rebel when we made it back to Pennsylvania on Sunday evening was the fact that he knew how to fix the car.
As the older brother, he's gone on to pave the way for the rest of us that've been walking with him in this family for all these years. Selfish tears are shed and will be for days to come and we'll miss his humor, his example and his love. But (there's that word again) I'm so grateful that he's leaving me with a southern sister and I hope the two of us can make more memories as we travel down this road of life together. Lord knows, I'd have never made it through all these years without her. So hat's off Brother Bill for doing a good job while you walked on this earth. We love you and this song is for you...
LEAD ME HOME
We love you.
We miss you.
Dr. William D. Brown
April 3, 1943 - March 30, 2017