In Memory

Aug. 23, 1963-Nov. 28, 2008It was the year you and I were baptized, the year you started on the Lumpkin County Indians. I made you a birthday cake. Your life ahead of you: 16 to eternity. The beautiful afternoons fell. You did bench presses, ran wind sprints. Crouching, fist on the ground, in your gold helmet. One, five, ten, the miles went into the distance, your hair dripping with end of summer sweat. "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer," you said to the miles, and the miles believed. On the cheerleading squad there was a girl. The one you couldn't talk to, so shy you talked into your bangs instead. I combed your hair for the first and only date with her, your hair that was the color of the sun. We went to church, just you and I, huddled close together in the back in our clean clothes, holding our breath. Somewhere on one of the pews she giggled, hidden from us. You took notes, listened. And would never sing the hymns; you read them instead, taking in the words. "I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see." The preacher ended, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." You repeated the words, studying them into memory. That year your team went unbeaten, the girl liked you, then didn't, and then still didn't. Forget her, I said. Because I will love you, always. That was 1983. It is 34 years later now, and you would have been 50 today. August 23. Your day; no one else's. Mama and I love you profoundly and forever. We will never forget you, but now you are with the God you yearned for, walking in uprightness, in the peace that passeth all understanding. Tell Pop and the pups we love them. We miss you all. For our precious brother and son, Cathy and Mama

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