James H. Brown Sr., 86 years old, married to Betty for 63 years, father of 3 sons, grandfather of 5, great grandfather of 2, … my dad, died on Feb. 25, 2011.
He was buried at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.
A “NAVY” guy!
My dad once told to me that he liked this photo that you see above.
He said, “I wonder what it would be like to fly like a dragonfly and sit around a pond?”
It just so happens that my father-in-law who is a retired Rev., carried out the funeral service for the family and had this story to tell during the service.
It seemed so fitting!
The story goes something like this:
A large family of dragonfly nymphs were living in the waters of a beautiful pond, just a foot or so below the water’s surface.
Over time, members of the dragonfly family noticed that some of its family members were disappearing.
Some family members were seen moving towards the surface of the pond, moving to the top portion of the water and into the sunlight, where they vanished, never returning and telling the rest of the family what they had seen, or experienced.
The remaining dragonfly family members were concerned, and decided among themselves that if anyone should happen to go to the other side of the water’s surface, that they would try and return to tell the others about what was there, … what they had seen.
Just a few days later, one little dragonfly nymph had the urge to move upwards, to the surface, to the beautiful light above.
He swam up, breaking the surface waters, then climbed up a narrow strand of grass.
There he soon had wings, and the urge to fly began.
He happily flew around this new world that was full of amazing things he had never seen before.
Then he remembered that he was suppose to return and tell the rest of his family what he had seen, … what he had experienced.
He tried to get back below the water’s surface, but he could not.
He tried over and over again, … but never once could he break below the surface, to return to his family and the world that he knew.
So, … he flew away, never seeing his family again as he once knew them.
He never forgot his cherished family and the love he had for them, … but he was in his place now.
It was a glorious place to be!
This is where I see my dad now. A glorious place.
The night before he died, my youngest son Joseph and I went to the hospital to see him.
He was very talkative, but for the past three days no one could understand a thing he was saying because of the mask he was wearing and the sound of oxygen being forced into his mouth/nose. He had two air embolisms within his lungs and they were trying to get them to move into a filter that was placed within just a day earlier.
We stayed for about 90 minutes.
Little did we know that Joseph and I would be the last to see him alive.
Joseph told him good bye, then I leaned over and kissed him on his head, telling him in his ear that we were leaving and would see him the following day.
I then told him, “I love you daddy”.
Some way, some how, my daddy said very clearly to me, “I love you too son”. Joseph heard it as well.
He somehow had managed to say it loud and clear to me.
I believe now that he knew.
I believe that was the way it was suppose to be.
I believe that was the way God planned it.
I take great comfort knowing that those were the last words he ever spoke to me, … and I heard it.
So daddy, … your sons lifted a toast of old Irish whiskey to you.
We pray that heaven has Grits and RedEye Gravy, good guitars, country music, and that God will allow you to fly with the angels wearing your Zoot Suit!
I love you daddy!