Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 13:24:17 EDT
I met Bonnie, as we called him in those days, through my sister Muriel. He had beautiful blue eyes, curly blond hair, and was tall and lean.
He delivered laundry for our dad after school in a black panel truck with a stick shift on the floor. He was quiet, and I paid little attention to him at first.
Dale and I were married and did different types of things for entertainment. When I was expecting a baby, I would walk to town and back as my doctor suggested. One hot summer day, I went into our drug store, drank a milk shake, then started home. After two blocks or so, I was sooo sick that I had to sit on the curb of the street.
Not long after that, the black panel truck came by. Byron jumped out, asked me what was wrong, put me in the truck, and took me home. My knight in shinning armour.
After WW II, I moved to Chicago and only saw Byron on our visits South. We all gathered at Mother's and ate dinners at the different sibling's homes.
Byron was a carpenter by trade and worked outdoors most of the time, winter and summer. On visits, I would see him come home dripping wet from sweat, sitting in the air conditioned house with a towel around his neck.
He had six children, losing one at the age of six. He worked hard to support his family, doing a good job with the help of Muriel, who can make a tasty meal out of anything.
Byron was loyal. He always called his Mother as soon as he got home.
Byron was a tease. One afternoon, I was in the bathroom and heard the sound of water splashing. When I opened the door, there stood Byron standing at the door pouring water from one tin plate to another, laughing at me.
Byron loved to fish. On our visits he would take the net that he had made and go to this one place and catch mullet, (called Biloxi bacon), bring it home and fry the mullet for a snack. He did this for years until he hurt his rotor cuff in his shoulder and could not cast the net any more.
My Mother had a stroke when I was living in MN. I flew down to the small Gulfport air port, wondering all the way if Mother was still living, and who would meet me. There was Byron waiting for me with a smile and a Oyster po boy. He took me to the Pascagoula hospital, telling me Mother was still here. Very tender.
So we get older. I remarried 11 years after Dale died.
About 12 years into my second marriage, my husband, George had a heart by-pass operation. Byron was there to visit, had me stay with him and Muriel, who lived much closer to the hospital. The day I brought George home, there was Byron. He followed us home and helped George into the house with a walker his Mom used to use.
His sudden death caused a morning that shall remain in our hearts, but a great happiness in our spirits, for he is with the Lord.