Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mookie Bailey....a good man

When you grow up in a small town everyone knows everyone else. You pass the same people in the hallways at school from kindergarten to graduation. Your friends become your family. You don't just have one set of have your friends parents too. I am so very lucky to have grown up like this, and on a night like tonight I am experiencing the grief and loss of one of those special small town family members.

First let me give you a little history. April has been my friend for longer than I can remember. I have so many memories of her and her family growing up. I have never called her grandmother by her name...I always call her Memaw. And I am sure that I knew the weekends her dad would be in from work. There are songs that come on the radio that make me think of her dad. To me he was that dad that I associated with fun and big laughs. April and I always use to pretend we were sisters (even though we didn't know how that would happen because I wasn't marrying Allen aka her little brother). I know God smiled in those moments because one day she did become my sister. When God gave me a step brother he gave me April too as my sister in law.  (And 2 of the cutest nephews in the world) When April came into our family she brought her family with her. I love her parents and siblings and nieces and nephews. They are my extended family. Just stopping to think about it there are several ways our family is intertwined. 

This week we lost a very important member of our small time family. April's dad went to be with Jesus Monday night. He fought the good fight against cancer and the battle is over. When I heard the news I couldn't fight back the tears. I cried for April and her siblings, her Memaw losing another son, Alison who lost her husband , and the grandkids that lost their Popa. 

Tonight when I arrived at the funeral home for visitation I was blown away at the people that were there. There was a line to even get in the building. It was a true testimony of the man he was. Mookie was kind and funny, dedicated to his family, and hard working. The things I have known about Mookie from a young age has always intrigued me. I knew early on that he was a special man. And he continued being that man until the day he died. Tonight standing in line I realized that I am not the only one that saw the good in this man. He has definitely left a wonderful legacy behind. 

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