Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Into The Light...A Tribute To My Beloved Brother...

Seven days ago I lost my only brother... heart has never felt such pain.

Cal was born on November 28, 1978...He was thirty-one years old.

...He was a very good natured baby from the start, with an even temperament and a quick and easy smile.  My mother has shared with me that for the first week of my brother coming home from the hospital I relentlessly asked, "when will he go back?"  :)

My greatest memory of Cal as a baby is his big ears.  The family joke was to "tip toe" around our sleeping boy, as his ears were so big it was certain he could hear a pin drop!

As a boy, Cal was involved in many community activities. He was a Cub Scout, played Little League Baseball, and enjoyed attending youth activities at our church. In high school, Cal was a triple-sport athlete, playing basketball, football, and baseball!  He was a tremendous talent when it came to any sport!

Four years apart, Cal and I shared so much together within the first two years of his life.  Our parents divorce when Cal was two and I had just turned seven created a special bond between the two of us, as I felt the need to "mother" my baby brother, knowing he had no clue as to what was going on.  Such a big, brawny baby boy, the sight of my scrawny self carrying Cal around brought laughter to those who witnessed....

...Cal and I were thick as thieves when it came to trouble...when one of us was receiving a "talking to", the other was hiding behind a piece of furniture, only to be seen by one another, giggling...which only got us into more trouble!  I can hear my mother now, "is it funny?"  Sometimes my brother would say, "a little bit." :)

When we lived in our apartment just after my parents divorce, my brother and I shared a bedroom.  One day while we were playing Barbie's (I am certain that Cal "volunteered" with great enthusiasm) Cal pulled the head off my only Ken Barbie doll!  "I will NEVER forget that you did this, and when we are old in our eighties, I will STILL remember..." and at the age of thirty-six, I still remember.

"Tickling" backs was our greatest negotiation!  Laying on the family room floor, watching "Silver Spoons" and "One Day At A Time", Cal and I would bargain "tickling" time..."I'll tickle your back for two commercials, then it's my turn." 

After high school, and attempting the college life (which neither of us did very well), Cal and I shared an apartment together.  I had just been through my divorce, a single mother of a two year old...Cal and my son Hayden began their special connection.

Of course over the years there have been arguments, jealousy, bitterness, tears...

....but the laughter, the love and the brother/sister relationship far outweigh it all!

My brother's greatest gifts are his children that he leaves behind.  Sophia, two years old and full of life!  Her white blond hair, her tall lanky body, her chicken legs and her sassy attitude...she's a "Fine" through and through.  Henry, just a year old, nicknamed "Hank the Tank", his chubby cheeks and his piercing blue eyes...I see so much of my brother in his precious face. I just shared with you a few short months ago, you were an incredible father.  I am so proud of the daddy that you were.  Your babies adore you...and with your memory still very much alive, they always will.

I love you so very much Cal.  Know that I believed in you... was difficult, but your smile and your humor kept you from ever giving up.  You wanted so much for your children and for Corinn, and yet a terrible illness kept you from reaching your goals. 

...Know that Mark and I will do everything we can to carry on your dreams for Sophie, Henry and Corinn.  We will continue to love them as you loved them.  We will provide for them in any way they need.  Know that they are being protected and cared for.

I am so proud of who you were Cal.  Never, ever think that I didn't love you every second you were here...

...and my love for you continues to grow, although I will now love you from afar, I know you know just how very much I love you!

Have peace dear brother...tear up the basketball courts of Heaven, catch up with your best friend Craig, and pass along hugs and kisses to Grandma and Popo...

...Wrap yourself in the love and comfort of Christ, as I know He loves you just as you were and are!


  1. Betsy, words cannot tell you how sorry I feel for you. I know what you are going through. I too lost my brother 12 years ago very suddenly.
    We were 6 years apart and like all borthers and sisters had our good and bad points with each other.
    Life goes on, but the picture has differnt views now.
    God bless you and your family and those sweet little kids.
    (And you know Corinn's grandfather was a family friend of the blacksmith's parents. Small world)

  2. That is beautiful Betsy! I'm sorry I never got to meet Cal. Hugs and prayers for you my dear friend. I love you!

  3. Beautiful post, Betsy and such a loving tribute to your dear brother. You and your family are in my prayers, love you!

  4. Starla Scott FrancisAugust 4, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Betsy I did not know your brother, but after reading the awesome and loving account of your memories I can feel that you love him deeply and will remember those sister and brother moments. My brother is 5 years younger than me and as I was reading this it made me want to pick up the phone and call him. Someone once told me that when we lose a family member we shouldn't be sad, we should know that the Angels in Heaven are rejoicing and The Lord is happy to have his child home with him. Your faith will pull you through! God Bless to you and your family.

  5. Betsy...that was beautiful. I am so glad you have such wonderful memories with Cal. I remember babysitting you guys in that apartment. You two were really quite the pair.
    Hugs and love.

  6. Betsy,

    This is a wonderful tribute to your brother. I've lost two of my brothers, and while some days will be difficult--faith, family and memories will help you.

  7. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I hope you are comforted knowing how many people care about you.

  8. My heart is hurting with yours. blessings, marlene

  9. Betsy,
    This is a very beautiful tribute to Cal. I know that you will miss him dearly. I love and appreciate my brother more every minute.
    Brenda Hancock

  10. Thank you for sharing your brother with us Betsy. When I lost my best friend 4 years ago, it was like a hole was in my heart. I remember being at work and hearing people laugh, and I thought, "Why are you laughing? Don't you remember that she is dead?" It was rough, but the comfort of her eternity in Heaven gives so much peace. God gives us the courage to put one foot in front of the other and continue to move forward. Praying for your peace. Vicky