I want to tell you about my little brother.
I remember the day he was born. Its one of my earliest memories – I was three years old.
You see I was an infant when my brother Johnny was born, so there is no memory before him. But Frank – I remember.
My Daddy came to pick us up at the neighbors. I still remember the deep sunset colors in the sky and the smell of carnations that were growing along the walk. And Daddy told me I had a baby brother. It was like he was giving me a gift, a complete surprise. I fell in love with him from the moment I saw him. And he is still the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.
He was a funny little fellow. Johnny and I learned pretty quickly that when we were all in trouble to kind of push Frank forward because he would make a silly face or do something goofy and Mom and Dad couldn’t help but laugh.
He was a rough and tumble kid. Mom would tell the story that she would have us all shiny and clean and ready to go to church. And somehow from the door of the house to the car, Frank’s shirt tail would be out, his socks fallen down, shoes were untied and he would have dirt on his face.
He struggled in school. This was before we knew what dyslexia was and it was especially hard because his brother was brilliant and his sister smart and we loved to read and learn. But he was cute and athletic and always good for a laugh or an adventure.
He could be a pain in the ass too like all little brothers. I remember one car trip from our home in Lubbock Texas to our grandparents in Crossett Arkansas – Frank had somehow learned all the words to Que Sera Sera by Doris Day (don’t ask me how or why) And he sang it all the way across Texas and Arkansas. We were all close to tossing him out the car window.
He was handsome and fun and played sports in school. He was very popular and one spring was asked to 6 proms. Dad said he was going to have to take out a loan for tux rentals and florists.
After high school, he tried to figure out his way. Ended up with different jobs and then started doing carpentry work.
After his first marriage ended, he went thru a dark time and we thought we had lost him.
Then, he gave his life to Jesus and his heart to Janet at about the same time. Mom always said that Jesus and Janet gave her son back to her and she was pretty sure it was mostly Janet.
This began his journey that changed his life.
All his life he wanted to become a good man – He wanted to be those things he loved best about his dad. A family man, a man that loved his wife, a man that adored his children. A man that had a sparkle in his eye and could command the room with his laugh.
These past 6 years, he became deeper and wiser and more loving.
He was a good man.
And I am so proud of him and love him and will miss him the rest of my life.
And there is one thing I know – love is everything – love is what we are called to do and love is the beginning with no end.
He was my baby brother. He was a good man.