When I was 7-1/2 years old, my mother brought a new baby into our house. I became the babysitter because my parents worked. Then, two years later, my middle brother, and three years later, my baby brother came – all called me “the protector,” but in fact, they were my family. I had always considered them to be my children.
My first brother passed in 2004 (Remembering). Now the baby brother is gone away.
Here is the tribute so lovingly prepared by his daughter-in-law Dana:
This is not only the most difficult post for me to make, but also an incredibly difficult time for my family. Still, I feel it is important to share. As many of you already know, we lost my father-in-law so suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday, on Father’s Day. What started as a perfect weekend of fun together up at our family cabin, doing all of the summer outdoorsy things he (and our family) loved out at the lake, ended so tragically. On what was supposed to be a day of celebrations, more memories and laughter, our family gathering turned into the unimaginable. Instead of fun, we were grieving the loss of a man of so many. While I sit here and try to process my thoughts, all while continuing to stay strong for my husband and our kids, I struggle to find the right words.
In all the 20 years I have known my father-in-law, I cannot recall a single moment when he raised his voice or complained about anything. He was a simple man who taught us all so much. A humble and patient husband who never said no and a family man who was present 110 percent of the time. A father always willing to help with any project especially if that meant extra time spent doing it together. A grandfather adoring his grandkids. He never missed a milestone, celebration, sporting event, soccer/football/baseball game, dance recital, ski show – the list does not end. So many amazing times and wonderful memories made that it floods my heart with so much sadness to not have him present with us anymore.
For those who knew Brandon, my father-in-law was his best friend. The two talked and saw each other daily. Over the last 20 years I sat behind the scenes and watched them build an amazing bond that turned into a friendship, greater than one could ever imagine. Many, many years in the making…starting with salvaging vehicles during high school days, to sport-truck racing in the years following graduation. Repairs or projects at home always seemed to be what I liked to call them “Tim the tool man Taylor” arrrrrrr… joking…to ETS side jobs over the last 7 years… and most recently, the last two working at Ice Clouds in the shop following his retirement. He was adored by all 30 employees and quickly became known as “Papa Ice.”
I can say without any second thought that times spent with him have been treasured times in not only my life, my husband’s, and my children’s lives, but to so many others who had the great honor of getting to know him. Although he left too soon, we were so fortunate to have had him with us all these years.
We have so many wonderful memories with him that we will treasure for the years to come, all of them happy and joyful. Not only has he been an amazing father to my husband, and sister-in-law, but a perfect husband to their mom. Most importantly, an incredible role model to his grandchildren.
Although in some ways, I feel that my life has come to a standstill over the last 38 hours as I pick up the pieces of my family’s broken hearts. I have learned to be more patient, to take one day at a time, and to be more compassionate and grateful. I know his blessings are always with my family and me.
Now, he is gone, yet he is not. He lives eternally within all of us. We will always remember him for his loving nature, soft personality, and the values he passed on to all of us.
The last amazing moment that we will never forget was a perfect evening out on the pontoon. For whatever reason, only God must have known – my son had each one of us take turns telling Grandpa “Jar,” (that name stuck when my daughter first learned to talk), JR, that we love him. He looked in each of our eyes and said he loved us back.
Finally, Brandon and I would both like to take a moment to thank everyone for the outpouring amount of love and support we’ve been receiving. So many messages, I don’t even have the words to describe what it means to have an army of people who love and care so much. Although we haven’t responded to the majority, please know deep down that we thank you.
No condolences, please. I just wanted to let you know that my brother has passed, and that my husband and I
were thinking of his family. I need to take a break.
Looks like I have to hold on really tight to my middle brother.