Nearly 18 years later, I still miss my late BudBy VIRGINIA WELCH,
I had no news input from readers this week other than a couple of calls from my sister about the wedding of the granddaughter she raised from birth. The wedding is being planned around the groom's military schedule.
I could not find out the date of the wedding until after I had already registered and paid for the Midsouth Christian Writers Conference. So, I will be missing my great-niece's wedding. I will be combining the conference with a visit with Chelle and Kenny and Kenny's mom Louise. And, of course, the girls (dogs) Mush and Popsy. I haven't seen them since October, so I am really anxious for the conference and the visit.
Since I will most likely write next week's column about the conference and events while I am there, I will take this column to honor a special occasion that will happen next week. March 23 would have been Bud's and my 48th anniversary. He passed three months before our 30th. It was a marriage of two people passionate about many things, many of them not the same. It was a stormy marriage for sure, but when things got tough, we both worked to hang on together.
He suffered a cerebral aneurism rupture when our middle child, Travis, was six months old. He came through that miraculously without surgery and lived an additional 23 years with no problems from the aneurism. He had a near death experience while he was in a coma and emerged with the fear of the Lord on his mind. He accepted Christ as his Lord and savior and was baptized as soon as he was well enough to go to church. Three years later we had our third child, Sam.
His tombstone reads, "An uncommon man by choice," based on a poem, "I do not choose to be a common man," which my stepson saw and sent to him framed several years before he passed. He loved it and displayed it proudly. It was written about some famous man, maybe Abe Lincoln. But it was unwittingly written about Bud, too.
He definitely led a life that was different from the norm. He was an entrepreneur, did everything from butchering to auctioneering to owning and running a furniture store. Toward the end of his life, he drove a school bus. Part of the time for Northwest Rankin and part of the time for the School for the Blind and Deaf in Jackson.
He had a private pilot's license and he was prouder of that than anything after the children and me. His love for flying was the inspiration for the book I published in 2016, "Head in the Clouds." We had a lot of fun in the early years flying in his small four-seater Beechcraft. We also had a boat and fished in the Neches River near Beaumont, Texas. We even camped a couple of times at Toledo Bend.
Life was hard and we faced a lot of trouble over the years. It seemed like the more life threw at us, the more determined we were to stick together and see it through.
There was a lot of pain, a lot of disappointment, much struggle. We had both been married before, but he was the man who fathered our three children, and they are priceless to me, as they were to us.
I miss him still though not as much as the early years without him. When I am outside and hear the familiar hum of a small aircraft overhead, I have to look up until I see it. I am transported for a moment to those days of taking the right seat position while he flew us to parts unknown.
Until next week, the Lord bless and take care of you and me.
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