It was a Friday, May 13, 2005. I talked on the phone with my mom that day. My mom lived with my brother, Willie, and he was home because it was too muddy to work. He worked for a drilling company. I almost asked to talk to him then decided I would do it next time because I was running out of time to get ready for work.
I got off work at midnight and Rob picked me up as usual. When we got home he poured me a glass of wine and said you need to call Chris. Right then my stomach leapt into my throat. It was 12:30 my time, 10:30 Chris's time. Chris tells me that Willie was killed in a car wreck that evening. After I talked to Chris I called my mom. She was...well, a mess. Not dealing well at all, which is to be expected. She kept telling me she needed help. I couldn't help her over the phone, I told her to call Kim, my ex sister-in-law. She did call Kim and Kim came to help her, Kim left a romantic evening with her husband to help my mom through that night and I am so grateful to her. It took me a long time to forgive myself for not talking to Willie that day. I wish I would have.
I couldn't get home for the funeral. I just couldn't raise the money. I did write the eulogy and I would like to share that with you.
If this is read as intended, it is being read by Mom, but it is my thoughts, my words, about my brother.
We all know that there were two sides to Willie. We prefer that his good side be remembered.
I remember when I was pregnant with Chris. Willie was 10. He asked if he could take the baby fishing when he was old enough. When Chris was 2 and Willie was 13 we lived in Arkansas and there was a stream behind our house. Willie took Chris fishing in the stream. Chris was so excited because he caught a little sunfish and Willie was so proud that he had taken Chris on his first fishing "trip".
Willie loved his family; Mom, Kari, me, his nephews and neices, his inlaws and great nephews and great neices. Most of all he loved his children, Tyler, Zack and Addison. I want you to know that you were always in your Dad's thoughts and heart.
I won't pretend that he was a saint, but for the most part my brother was a good man. He was loving and genuinely cared about people. He would give you the shirt off his back or his last cent, with no regard to how he was going to eat tomorrow.
Willie was mine and Kari's baby brother. He was my Mom's son, but more than that he was her best friend, Whether you approved of him or not, my brother lived his life to the fullest. He worked hard and he was full of life. Because of this I have a hard time accepting that he is gone.
I don't know who said this, but I want to share this quote with you, "life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting....Holy shit...what a ride!!!!" That was Willie.
When you remember him, remember the love that he had to give, the help he offered. remember his smile. Remember he loved you.
I hope he knew how much I loved him. I love you you baby brother, I always will.
If you read this post I thank you for your attention. Funny, after 4 years I thought I could do this, and it is something that I needed to do, but the pain is still there and I find myself crying. I didn't expect that. I want you to know that if you have a chance to spend with family or tell someone that you love them, do because there may not be a next time.
The picture above is a pastel I did of Willie. I gave this painting to my mom.
My sister has a Wii and we had so much fun together bowling on it that mom decided I needed one. I have always loved video games, after all they came out in my generation, but I have to say that I haven't had as much fun with one as I have had with this one. What a great idea, play games and get some exercise at the same time. We love the Wii sports that came with our Wii. Of course my boyfriend seems to beat me most of the time, but I am improving. We did get a couple of games that were on sale that you can sit and play. I can't wait for my stepson to come visit. He doesn't know that we have it.
I'm a 51 year old mother of 3 boys and grandmother of 5. I can't believe that I'm 51, man the years have passed quickly.
I'm an artist, or at least I like to believe that I am. I work as a customer service manager for a major retail company.
I like who I am and where I am in my life now.