Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Me & my brother

Waynesville Apple Festival is a bittersweet show for me. It has been my highest money making show, but 2 years ago, I was packing up after the show when my oldest brother passed away at the young age of 53. It was October 20, 2007.

Billy and I were the only redheads of 5 children. We were very close while growing up. He had the heart of a child when the holidays came. He lived a hard life, but enjoyed life.

One of the photos below, shows me with Billy in the summer of 2005. Before Billy had his first bout with cancer. The other photo shows Billy after cancer which was about a year after the first photo. Billy is the one in the black t-shirt. He fought the cancer with chemo, but it came back. He continued to smoke throughout, which I'm sure didn't help any. He had throat cancer.

Billy lived in PA and I live in NC. We drove to PA to visit him in the hospital 1-2 weeks before he died. The doctors said he had 8-12 months to live. They were wrong. He never left the hospital.

I will always miss my brother and will never forget him. I only regret that we didn't see or call each other more often. I have many memories to keep him in my heart. It seems to me like he's still in PA since I didn't see him very often. Then, I remember that he's gone.

Just before Billy passed away, he got saved by Jesus Christ, so we will meet again. Not everyone goes to Heaven. I always see obituaries saying, "went to be with the Lord". Everyone talks about their loved ones being in Heaven. Only through Jesus Christ will we get there. Not by dying, but by a personal relationship with The Lord. It's not automatic. Where will you go when you leave this earth?
John 3:16.

I've always liked this poem about "tomorrow". I thought this would be a good time to share it with you.

"If Tomorrow Never Comes"

If I knew it would be the last time
that I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute or two
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything right.

There will always be another day
to say our "I love you's",
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do's?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget,

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight..

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear,

Take time to say "I'm sorry," "please forgive me,"
"thank you" or "it's okay".
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today



TJ said...

Your post really hit home with me. I lost my Mom 16 yrs ago I was 21 and Mom was 54 yrs young.I try to make the most of everyday to create loving memories with my family as my Mom did with me. Im sooo glad that your brother was saved. I hear lots of people say "well im a good person, I do good things, I'll go to heaven"
But as you said not without Jesus !
Sorry to be sooo long winded. Thanks for sharing your story,
Prim Hugs n Blessings

Constance said...

I understand your fellings completely. I lost my only brother this past July. He had lived with me and seemed almost like a child. It is so hard and my prayers are with you. Blessings,