This isn't easy, but I know the last 35 years weren't easy either. We didn't get to say goodbye. I think I overused the excuse that I was too busy to come up and visit. Why didn't you tell me you were as sick as you were? I didn't get any lead time to worry even. I didn't get to share any last words or thoughts or feelings with you. Momma said you asked about me the day before you left us.
I think you know how I feel. Last December, when we were going through the sister crisis, you thanked me and told me, "No one had ever stood up for me before like you did and I appreciate that." We hugged on Momma's front porch as Locke (my son) played in the rocking chair and you puffed away on your smokes. Most of all, Frank, I know that we understood each other. We may not have always agreed on things, but I know we understood each other.
I also had a chance to read your journal the other day. I never imagined that you felt so shut out by the world. And your room, I'm helping Momma clean it up, bless her heart. She loved you so much, but you pushed her away. Our family has a history of simply being "hard to love."
The Bible says something to the effect of "In all things, Rejoice!" I am going to remember you, not as the snotty-nosed brat that wouldn't leave my things alone as a child, but as the fighter I remember you as in adulthood. I hope you liked the poem Bobbie wrote for you. The pastor read it at the service(but you knew that, didn't you?) She's turned out to be a truly spiritual Southern Belle. I love her accent.
Frank, I am going to miss you. Hell, I already miss you. But the damndest part about this is maybe you'll get a pair of wings now and a new body. I truly envy your love of God's creations. Your love of trees and plants and animals is topped only by Audubon himself. I want to give a memorial in your honor to a foundation that works to grow trees. I know you'll appreciate that.
I know now why you loved the chickens, turkeys, and ducks so much growing up on the Georgia farm. They didn't judge you or throw harsh words in your face simply because you were different. At times, I thought you wished you were a pheasant or a peacock. And the dogs we've had over the years! I guess we fought a bit too much over whom Abby belonged to, huh? She was a cutie. I guess you're up there running with her on God's rolling clouds.
I was proud to hear about the day you truthfully put down the alcohol. Mom was proud too. I just fear that the smokes sped up the whole process. I wish you could have found that mate you were always seeking. I'm sorry things didn't work out with Bil. He and John came by Momma's the day before the funeral. He really loved you. He said he knew something was up when you stopped writing him. Communication has always been a sticking point with our family.
In closing, I want to say that I will see you again one day, but God only knows the place and time. I love you. Locke and Beth miss you too.
Frank's younger brother
You can send email to Eric at: [email protected]
anniversary date 09-29-98
date of post 10-28-98