Brenda was just beginning to recover from losing her Mama when her dear brother, Harold, passed away. Here, she shares this special tribute story to honor Harold on National Brother's Day.
I was just beginning to recover from the grief of losing Mama when another very special person passed away. It was sudden. I was still in shock when my big brother, Harold, died just a week before Thanksgiving. We were making plans for the holidays when he unexpectedly had a massive heart attack and died before the paramedics could even reach his home.
My niece, Alicia, called me at 1:00 in the morning. I knew before I even answered the telephone that Harold had died. I just knew deep in my soul that he was gone.
We were so close. I loved him so very, very much. A big piece of my heart has been ripped away, and I can hardly believe that my big, strong brother is gone.
Harold was my hero. As a child, I followed him and his friends around like a puppy dog. I know he got tired of his little sister tagging along. I recall one time Mama got me some brand-new underwear. I was about five years old and loved the bright colors. We went to church, and Harold was playing marbles with some friends. I waltzed up to the boys, pulled up my dress, and showed off my pretty panties. Harold yelled, “Mama, come get Brenda!”
But I could always depend upon Harold to protect me. I recall some bullies taking my spelling book away from me on the school bus, and big brother stepped in and made them return my book. Another time some mean kids were picking on me, Harold fought them for me.
He and I sometimes got into fights but took up for each other. Nobody could get by with picking on our kinfolks. As Mama always said, “Blood is thicker than water.”
Also, when we were kids, Harold had a red wagon. He would haul me and our dog, Rover, in the wagon. We raced around the yard, down hills, and had so much fun playing in that little red wagon that he made himself.
Harold was always creative. Later, when he grew up, married, and had children, he made toys for his kids and grandchildren. He liked to do woodworking and made birdhouses, furniture, and even musical instruments. Harold made his first guitar and taught himself to play it. He was a naturally talented carver and musician.
Harold was a kind, gentle man. He loved children, animals, and people.
Whenever he walked into a room, you could just feel his calm presence. That was an excellent trait he had as a deputy sheriff in the mountain town of Hayesville, NC. He was slow to anger and often was able to talk with people and get them settled down with just his sweet spirit. He was a very dedicated law enforcement officer and had a deep love for helping people.
Today, on National Brother's Day, I honor my brother by sharing his love and legacy with you. If you have a brother, write him a note, pick up the phone, tell him what he means to you. And for those of you who have lost a beloved brother, my heart goes out to you. Let us continue sharing their stories, and may the memory of our brothers live on.
Meet Brenda Kay Ledford
Brenda Kay Ledford is a member of the North Carolina Writer's Network. Her children's picture book, "The Singing Convention," was released by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia this year.
Her work has appeared in many publications.
READ ANOTHER STORY |
Important Things you Need to Say
When Danielle's Stepfather passed away, unsaid words remained in her heart. Not wishing this regret fall upon another, Danielle is inspired to create something special that will guide others to say what they need to say before it's too late.