There are a few things I inadvertantly left out last night as I was trying to finish before church started. (and my spelling and punctuation was atrocious!... so sorry). I mentioned Garrett played baseball for about 10 or 11 years. He started out a catcher and then a pitcher combined with 1st base. He had Brandons gait, they neither one could run but watching him reminded you very much of Brandon. And was it ever funny to watch peoples faces as we'd holler for Tiny Man when the kid at the plate was 1/2 again as big as any other player. But he was following in his biggest brothers shadow. Brandon at age 17 was 6' - 6" and weighed around 300 lbs. Garrett's last trip to the gym (which was a favorite activity), he was around 6' - 4" and about 285. He and Jenn were a morning regular, and even the gym staff has FB'd how much they miss their morning visits.
Another omission was Garretts first 2 jobs. He worked for a small screen printing shop here in Hueytown, and I believe the owners just kind of adopted him. He was trustworthy, honest, dependable and a quick learner. He then landed a job with Winn Dixie and worked there, if I'm not mistaken, till he went to work for Vulcan.
In the latter part of 2009, Jennifer Leonard found my #3 son in a search on MySpace or Facebook, I don't remember. She had entered parameters, according to her, of Christian, fun, mountain lover, tall, and like a 25 mile radius of Birmingham. Or something very close to this anyway. And Garretts profile comes up. She makes contact, they meet and start dating. And within a year, he pops the question in Gatlinburg. We could not have been happier for him. She was just what he wanted and needed. They were so very happy. Garrett taught her what being frugile meant, and by doing that, they were able to buy what they wanted, when they wanted and pay cash for it. They had bought a new car just before getting married and had financed it for 3 years to help establish credit. Both of my married sons were blessed by God with great helpmates!
Garrett also loved to fish. Bass fishing was his favorite, and I like to believe he got that from me, although Janell's dad, POP, was a good fisherman as well. But Garrett and I had some fishing afternoons together and a couple of lake trips, too. He had also, over the last five to six years, become a do-it-yourself man. He was learning to work on his own vehicles, (that's POP's genes taking over!) he would tackle computer issues, and with Kevins help, was fixing things and doing home improvement projects that I would just hire out if I ever got the money. But not Garrett. If he had to pay somebody, that was money he could be saving for something special he or they wanted. I looked up to him for that. I know my limitations. He pushed the envelope. And he was also a guy that would help out someone in need. Sometimes it was the guy at the end of the exit ramp. Or it was a cause he would hear about and just open his wallet. It would be a family that needed their A/C fixed, and he'd "find" the parts to get it done. Garrett was also the quick-wited, sarcastic and comedian of my bunch. Kevin is too, and when the two would get together at supper at our house, oh my heavens. You could barely eat for laughing. But he also had Janells memory and quick-thinking ability. I do not think quickly, I tend to disect and formulate and respond much more slowly than the mom and son pair. And yes, I suffer for that inability still. Janell doesn't forget much and thats a cross I bear.
Garrett and Kevin had also gotten very close, especially after Kevin got married. Garrett would spend the nights at Kevins on weekends, and after he and Jenn started dating, the four were together all the time. They took trips to Florida together, went to Auburn games together, spent weekends cooking out or fishing and just being each others best friend. And the last few months of his life, Garrett seemed to be trying to get closer to me, I feel. He knew I wanted him to be living closer to God, and several times he called and asked me questions of Biblical or religious nature. And he said that he and Jennifer were beginning to look for a church home, because he felt they needed it in their lives.
If you can't tell already, I fell like I lost not only a son. but a man that left this world a better placce because he had been here. And that is the way I feel about all of my sons. They have been and still are, better sons than I deserve.
War Eagle Brandon, Kevin and Garrett! Dad loves you more than you'll ever know!
I'll be back.