Family Reunion at the Funeral Home

I was at a funeral a few weeks ago, and I was talking to family members I haven’t seen in ages.  Of course everyone was saying things like, “We only get together at funerals.  We should do better, but I’ve been so busy.”

It’s a common sentiment in our day and time, but it got me thinking.  Are we really that busy?  The answer is “no.”

When someone dies, we always find time to be there for their funeral.  Why can’t we do that when they are alive?

Death of a Sibling

The death of my brother (Aaron Thaler) was devastating.

I was a few weeks shy of 3 years old when Aaron was born, so he was a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My father was in the Army and we grew up overseas.  I didn’t really get to know my extended family until I was a teenager and I never had the same friend for more than a couple of years.

That made my relationship with Aaron even more special.  He was that one person I was able to play with and fight with, all throughout my childhood years.  He was my only consistent friend.

We had our ups and downs together.  Many battles were fought and a lot of blood was spilt.  However, no grudges were held.  After a few days, we would laugh about the last fight as if it was all a game.

Aaron died suddenly and I spent the first month in a state of shock.  Eventually the reality hit me and I went into a deep state of depression.

It’s been five years since Aaron passed, but I will always miss my brother.

1932248_700402463345820_1227138259_n

Kenneth Barksdale – RIP

48379477_791758564510241_3857321797963743232_o.jpg

Kenneth Barksdale (Gwen’s grandfather) passed away Wednesday.  It’s hard to lose a family member, but seems even worse when it happens this time of year.

Obituary

Kenneth Rodney Barksdale, age 82 of Athens, passed away on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at Athens Limestone Hospital.

Mr. Barksdale was born October 13, 1936 in Limestone County to Wade Barksdale and Algie Butner.

Graveside Services for Mr. Barksdale are Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Roselawn Cemetery with Steve Curtis officiating.  Visitation will be Saturday, December 22, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Limestone Chapel Funeral Home.

Mr. Barksdale was a member of Wooley Springs Church of Christ.  He was veteran of the Army and a lifelong farmer.  He was a postal carrier for over 40 years.

He is survived by his daughters, Crystal Benignus (Jon) and Jessica Turner (Scott); brother, Gerald Barksdale (Mary); sister, Frieda Claxton; grandchildren, Gwen Thaler, Kasey Benignus and Elizabeth Turner; several nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his wife, JoAnn Barksdale; granddaughter, Brittany Barksdale. Pallbearers are Stanley Smith, Tom Newton, Dwight Stoner, Chad Tribble, Jonathan Hill and Kevin Lee.

http://m.limestonechapel.com/obituaries/events?obituaryId=3960056

 

Thoughts on Death

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.  – Khalil Gibran

Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.    Norman Cousins 

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.  – Marcus Tullius Cicero

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.  – Marcus Aurelius

IMG_8832.jpg

Favorite Childhood Memory – Fishing in the Bathtub

Today is Aaron’s birthday.  He would have been 42 years old.  I thought I would honor the day by sharing one of our adventures together as children.

During the summer of 1988, my brother and I spent most of our free time exploring the woods and playing in a creek.

One day, we were hanging out in the woods and fishing.  We had a bucket full of fish, but it started to rain.  Neither one of us wanted to leave, since we were having so much fun.

I suggested we take the bucket of fish home and put the fish in our bathtub.  That way we could continue having fun while we were at the house.  Aaron thought it was a great idea, so that’s what we did.

My mom came home from work, as she passed by the bathroom, she saw Aaron sitting on the toilet with a fishing pole.  She went into the bathroom to find out what in the world her son was doing.

When mom looked into the bathtub, she went ballistic.  She started yelling at both of us to get those **** fish out of the there.

We put the fish back into the bucket and walked down the street.  We decided to release the fish in our neighbor’s pound.  Once we got home, Mom made us scrub the bathtub multiple times with several different cleaning solutions.

Personally, I think she may have overreacted just a little bit.