Sunday Morning, I was writing a letter to my son Chris. I told him I was GLAD to see 2012 gone, it has been the worst year of my life... but I was not saying that as a challenge to 2013!
Within a few hours, I received word that my baby brother Roger had passed during the night.
If I were making a list, there are more than a dozen people I would of expected to go before Roger.
He hasn't been to a doctor in years. No medical issues at all. Zero, zilch. Roger didn't drink, he didn't smoke, he didn't gamble, he didn't drive recklessly, he didn't do drugs.
Roger was 47 years old. He was overweight... but then, many of us gain weight as we age...Certainly myself included. On Saturday, the 29th, Roger helped Ralph take down Christmas decorations and yard ornaments and get them packed away. That evening, he went to his favorite restaurant for supper. He came home, and went to bed. He never woke up. My Mom and Ralph found him Sunday in the early afternoon, when he didn't come out of his room.
I am with my Mom in Ft Worth, until after his memorial service on Saturday, the 5th. I was asked to say a few words at his service. The following is my first draft outline:
Roger was synonmous with reliable. If you ever asked him to help you, do anything for you, it was as good as done. He was dependable, he was honorable, and he was loyal. He was my baby brother.
He was never in the forefront- Roger always seemed to prefer to be behind the scenes. He was behind the camera, rather than in front of it. One seldom had to ask him to help. Upon seeing a need, Roger stepped up to the plate and did what was necessary, with no thought of recognition or reward.
He was the favorite Uncle. He refused to deal with a diaper clad baby... which he said was MY fault, As he had to watch my oldest two children when they were tiny! But once the kid was potty trained, Uncle Roger was the BEST uncle going. He loved children.
He was slow to anger.
I don't know that I ever saw Roger angry. He was even tempered and never, ever viscious. He accepted insults and abuses, he deflected wrath. He always " turned the other cheek". He never raised his voice, he never screamed or yelled at anyone.
Roger did love to laugh. He loved practical jokes. He loved Ray Stevens and Weird Al. He always had a good joke ready. His wit was often dry and sly. He loved the fantasy worlds, whether Tolkein, Star Wars, or World of WarCraft. He loved to read, and he spent hours with his on-line computer friends.
He loved to please people, to surprise them and make them smile. He would take chocolate dipped strawberries that he prepared himself, or candies, to Hooters. He was such a frequent customer there, I hope they are able to stay in business without him.
He was never sick, he never missed work. He was dependable, he was kind, He was thoughtful... never causing anyone to worry if he could prevent it. He called when he was running late, he let his family know where he was and how he could be reached.
Roger was born just three weeks before I turned five years old. I wanted a baby sister. When my Granny told me that I had a new baby brother, I was not happy at all. I suggested that they put him "In the tree tops, where the cradle would fall". Granny told me that the new baby brother asked her where I was! She said that he knew he had a big sister somewhere, and he wanted to come see her". That was all it took for me to love my new baby brother. (Hey, five year olds are easy to manipulate!)
Roger fell asleep on Earth, and woke up in Heaven. I am going to miss him the rest of my days.