Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brother In Love

Me with my favorite Brother In Law! back in the day!

He has been in my family for as long as I can remember. He married my one and only sister when they were just teenagers, I was 4 years old. Attached at the hip to my sister, when she left her wedding with her brand new husband, I threw myself down in the parking lot crying that I wanted to go too! The next day, they came & picked me up & I stayed the night with them, sleeping right in between the newlyweds! :)

Debbie & Tom celebrating being married for 25 years!

When I got a little older, and they had kids of their own, I learned how to babysit on my nieces & nephew! Still spending nights at their house. Tom was always the biggest practical joker I've ever met. I once had a slumber party & he showed up wearing a Gorilla mask, banging on the windows, scaring all us girls inside. I'd come home from High school & find a note on the fridge that said "Star call Greg" I'd ask my family who's Greg? (or what ever guys name was on the note that time!) When did he call? and no one knew. Until one day I figured out these mysterious notes always seemed to appear on days Tom had been over.

Kyle & Zach with Tom
(This was probably around the time of the Pizza for Breakfast incident!)

Tom & John crashing after a long day of fun
on one of their trips to visit us in Michigan!

Knowing Debbie & I, We probably made them shop till they dropped!

One day, on my way home from work, my car broke down right in the middle of a very busy intersection. There was a gas station on the corner, I went in and ask them to help me, the mechanic said "if you think I'm going out into that intersection, your crazy!" My dad was at work, and I didn't know what to do. I called Tom. He came right away, got my car out of the intersection by himself and got me home. (After having a few choice words for that gas station attendant that wouldn't help me!) You always wanted Tom on your side! He was tough & tender at the same time! Most people (who knew better) would never mess with him. I didn't know better! I'd use everything from water balloons to raw eggs to battle him, he'd always get me worse! We always had fun together! He was my dance partner as well! And once he let me drive his car, and I put a scratch in it! He used that one against me for a long time! :)

Being a Twin himself, Uncle Tom loved my girls

Erica & Lexi, with their cousin Rachel and Uncle Tom
having their very first In-n-Out burger!

After I got married, he was always willing to come over to help however we needed. He was very handy & mechanical. And my kids loved their Uncle Tom! After we moved away to Michigan, he & Debbie would come to visit. I remember one time they were staying at our house, and I came down the stairs one morning, to him them telling my boys who were little at the time "don't tell your mom!" They were feeding them pizza for breakfast! My boys thought that was the greatest thing ever! Tom & Debbie came to Michigan again right after my girls were born. They would keep the babies down stairs with them, so I could get some sleep. With twins that's a rare thing.

Us at The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit!
(They provided the old fashioned hats & car)

Me with two of my favorite Men!

Debbie battled sickness most of her adult life, Tom took care of her. They were married for over 30 years when she passed away in 2001. Tom has really had a hard time without her. He battled depression and sickness of his own. He would distance himself from our family because it would make him think of Debbie & miss her even more. When we could convince him to come around, it would be great to see him, and we would catch glimpses of the old Tom. He could still make everyone laugh. All the kids loved to be around him!

Tom being Tom!
That's Zach's little head in the car next to Tom,
and my dad in the car behind him in the yellow tank top!

Well now he's gone to heaven and is with Debbie once again. Only this time neither one is sick! Or in pain! Or is sad! His suffering has ended. And for that I am grateful. Though I will miss him until I see him again in heaven. When I sat with him in Hospice on Tuesday, even though he couldn't really respond in any way, I told him some things my kids wanted me to say to him, then I thanked him for being the best Brother In Law a girl could ever have.

The last picture I took of them together

Reunited now in heaven!


Nancy said...

What a loving post. Praying for your family. How wonderful is the assurance of Heaven!

stefanie said...

A beautiful tribute.

Michele said...

Thank you for sharing this, Star. Beautiful.

judy said...

I am speechless, though I hope my tears speak to you. God Bless!