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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shirley







Last night my brother lost his wife to cancer. We had spent the day with them and their family and received the call about thirty minutes after getting home. When we left I really thought she had more time. I didn't realize I was saying goodbye for the last time, or maybe I would have said something more profound. Probably not.



My brother Danny left for the Navy when I was about seven, but I will never forget that day. My parents were taking him to the bus station and he was trying to tell me goodbye. I remember crying because I wanted to go too. I refused to hug him in my little hissie fit and some time later realized he was gone and I had missed my chance. Later that day I walked into the kitchen and saw my dad sitting at the table crying his eyes out. He was so broken hearted and believed Danny was too sweet and naive to be pushed out into this cold world, as he himself had a few years earlier. Now he is watching his son go through another trial he has also faced and can not do anything to help him.



Regrettably, I have not spent much time with my sister in law, Shirley for the past few years, but, she was a God send in my youth. While Danny was overseas she was so good to my brothers and me. She believed children should be taken bowling and fishing and whatever. She taught me how to bait a hook and play spades and other card games. I loved coffee and hot tea with milk because of her. She would talk to me and explain things to me like I mattered. Most of the time these conversations took place over a fishing hole. I hope I get to fish with her in heaven.



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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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