Remembering My Brother

20 Aug

Technically, he is my brother-in-law, but I think of him as my brother and he thought of me as his sister.  Phillip Jackson Lemon passed away unexpectedly in June, and even though two months have passed since he left this Earth, the loss still feels very fresh, very painful, yet very surreal. 

Today would have been his birthday, and although we can’t celebrate with him in person, I think it’s important to celebrate the person that he was.

Phil was a man whose emotional heart was too big for his body.  He cared about people, about their suffering and their joys, and was never too busy to talk to you.  He never met a stranger and he loved (and I mean LOVED) people.  He really did.  When Phil said it was good to see you, he meant it.  

The most wonderful thing about Phil was that he would tell you how much he loved you.  He didn’t keep it all bottled up inside so that you had to wonder if he cared.  In his eyes, I was precious and beautiful, and he told me that often.  I can’t believe I’ll not hear him say those words again this side of heaven or feel one of his bear hugs that squeeze the breath out of me!

He loved his family deeply, especially his children and grandchildren.  He was proud of them, the kind of people that they have become, and he loved spending time with them.  In Phil’s eyes, there was no distinction between a child and a stepchild, a sister or a sister-in-law.  We were all family to him, and he loved each one of us.  He absolutely adored my parents, whom he often said he would fight for if he and Kathy were to ever (God forbid) get a divorce!

And my sister.  He treasured her.  You would have been hard pressed to convince him Kathy didn’t actually hang the moon.  :)  He loved every single thing about her from her generous, loving heart to all the little quirks and adorable characteristics of her left-handed, right-brained personality.  He was her soul mate.  

What I didn’t realize about Phil until his funeral was how much he meant to so many other people and how much he had impacted all those who came in contact with him.  They literally came by the hundreds, all of them wishing to offer their condolences and share a story of how he had touched their lives.  It was beauty, in the midst of terrible sadness, to see these faces, all of whom had been touched by Phil’s smile, his laughter, and his welcoming nature.

Happy Birthday, Brother!  We love you, we miss you tremendously, and we can’t wait to see your smiling face again!


3 Responses to “Remembering My Brother”

  1. Kathy August 20, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    My wonderful sister Rachel,

    Oh, how I wish I could take this pain away from my whole family. God is the only one who can do that and He has been faithful to ease it when it just gets to be too much.

    We’re going to go place flowers on his grave shortly. A good friend who’s a florist made the arrangement. Even though Angela lived so far away, she always remembered him with something special for his birthday. This year it will be flowers.

    We’ve planned a few other things to do today that he would have loved to be a part of. That’s really the best way we know to remember him…to do things he loved to do and see some of the people he loved to see.

    We’ll being thinking of you both all day and we’re certainly glad you’re feeling better than last week.

    Love, Kathy

    • rachturner August 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      Kathy – I wish I could take this pain away from YOU. Wish I were there with you all. Know that I am there in spirit and my heart is right beside you. Love you so much.


  1. You Never Let Go « Blessings in Disguise - September 14, 2011

    […] I said earlier, in June, my brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. His loss has left a literal hole in our […]

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