I love this man! No, he isn't my husband but I still love him! He has been there for me through thick and thin. He tells me when I am out of line and comforts me when family issues weigh down on me. Larry isn't jealous, he understands and allows me to have this man in my life. Okay, before you freak out...he is my brother. My only sibling. My older brother. I could fill this blog with all sorts of memories I have with him. But today, I just want to thank him. He has been a fireman for 22 years in Abilene. He worked his last shift recently. I have always been so proud of my brother. I have always looked up to him. When he decided to become a fireman, it was just another way that I would admire him. To protect and help others. He is a good man. Abilene lost a fine fireman when he retired. It was time, he is ready to move on and do other things...like train horses, travel, etc. He is a gentle man. He can tell a great story, in fact, he should be a writer! He is a wonderful father to his two sons. He and Carolyn, his wife are faithful Christians. He is also a great uncle to our kids.

Today, I just want to thank him for choosing an occupation that allowed him to not only be an example to his co-workers but also all the people he touched in his 22 years of service. I know him. I know he treated the individuals he encountered with dignity, caring words and humor, when appropriate. I know that because that is how he lives his life. I know his heart was heavy many times when he made tough calls at work. He saw a lot. Some was heartbreaking and other times encouraging and even a few calls were quite funny! He took it all in stride and thankfully God watched over him through each shift.

A couple of weeks ago we surprised him with a Family Retirement Party. Of course, he had instructed his wife and kids that he didn't want any kind of party...but he didn't tell me! :) We fixed all his favorite foods and decorated with lots of fire trucks and pictures! It was a wonderful time to celebrate as a family. My Mom was so proud of him when he joined the Fire Department but also so fearful for his safety. I wish she had been here to celebrate with us, but I like to think she was smiling down on this day.

Phil, thank you for the example you have been to me, our kids and our grandkids. The little ones think you are about as cool as they come! Thank you for the tours of the fire station, letting them try on your bunker, sit in your truck, and lay on your bed in the station. Those are sweet memories! So, here are a few pictures from our celebration...I love you brother!!!


Kim W. said...

I've missed your blogging! :) Yay for a new post! And I have to say, this was SUCH a sweet post! I love it. I am close to my little brother, and we have such a great relationship, so this was touching to me. What a neat way to honor him and his service. He sure is a nice man, we really have enjoyed being around him the few times we've been able to.

karen said...

oh my goodness, how sweet this is! it is so beautiful to see true, unashamed love between siblings. your mom is most definitely smiling and so proud of the bond you and your brother have! what a very special tribute to one of abilene's heroes. and by the way, your decorations and details are so creative. of course i am not surprised!! how very special and honored your brother must've felt!