Monday, May 14, 2012

The Task

The first thing we did after arriving at Mom's was go talk to Wendy and Lester. They own the motel and general store in town (population maybe 300) and they were the ones Boyd went to at 3 am when he was in such pain. 

How I thank God for them. 

Wendy and Boyd were buddies. He would plop down in one of the chairs at the general store (picture a circle of seats, a radio, and tons of conversation. Yes, THAT kind of general store!) and complain to Wendy about this or that, and Wendy would speak truth into his life and put his mind at ease for a moment or two. I'm so sorry that Wendy and Lester had to go through the last moments of my brother's life, but I'm so, so thankful he was not alone. He was with Mom at the hospital, and he was with people who genuinely loved and cared for him and welcomed him into their little family.

My brother was adopted when he was 2 weeks old. His birth mother was still a teen and he was her third child. Because we didn't know then what we know now about adoption, Boyd never really got over the abandonment of his birth mother. It was so difficult for him to accept the fact that we did indeed love him and claimed him as ours. I also believe he suffered from depression, which made it even more difficult for him to accept love from us.

He lived with my Mom in New Mexico after my step-dad died and did various jobs around the village. People knew they could call him for help and he'd come and work his heart out. We feel that his last two years were the best years he had and he was finally finding his role in this life. He had just moved out into a little travel trailer and lived there 22 days before he died. It was right down the hill from Wendy and Lester.

After leaving the general store, we went to clean his trailer from top to bottom. It wasn't that dirty - Boyd was extremely neat. Lester warned us to look for his belt and buckle; once belonging to my step-dad, Mom gave it to Boyd after Jeff died and it was his pride and joy. I'm so glad Lester mentioned it. I have it, now.

My brother's possessions could all fit into the back of a pickup truck. Still, we feel that he was part of the community there and liked by all. Boyd struggled with his own thoughts all his days and would be in and out of our lives, so much so that it's hard to believe he's not going to just show up at my door like he used to when we lived in California. He would be driving a semi-load to somewhere and we'd get a knock on the door. I'd give him a haircut, let him take a shower, fill up his coffee thermos and send him on his way. Tyler and Kelly remember climbing into his great, big trucks, but Glenna was too little. Still, she got to meet him when he came all the way to Florida with a load shortly before he moved to New Mexico.

We cleaned out the tiny trailer and that was that.

Back at Mom's there were delicious dishes of food brought to us from the people in the village. Our dear friends John and Cathy came by and we talked and laughed and cried for hours. John and Cathy were friends of my parents in California - they, along with Joanne K. (also now in Mom's community) raised us kids together and had so many stories to tell.

What a blessing it was to be able to talk about him with those who knew him; Wendy and Lester knew him now, and John and Cathy knew him now AND back then. We must have said everything we could, but we certainly said everything we needed to.

1 comment:

agable said...

Love this tribute to your brother. Thinking of you and praying for you, I know this has got to be so hard. Love you.


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