49 years ago today, my oldest sister Kim was born. 14 years ago today was the last time I talked to her, the date of the pool accident that took her life...I am so grateful that I got to talk to her earlier that day. So today, I remember. And grieve. And rejoice.
- The fact that she gave me my family nickname, Bubba. It eventually turned into Uncle Bubba, and then, at the hands of my lovely nieces, Bubs. Every time I hear any of those names, Kim is there.
- The love in our home as she, I, and our two younger sisters grew up together.
- The fact that she grew stronger in her faith when she left for college. So many young people stray when they get away from home and encounter all the temptations of college. For her, it was the opposite -- I watched as her independence led to her making her faith her own.
- The many, many Alabama football games that she and I attended together, starting when I was about 8 years old. Oh, I could write an entire book about our football experiences. We went to bowl games, championship games...we attended 25 consecutive Alabama-Auburn games. Maybe one year I'll dedicate a post just to this. Suffice it to say that her legacy is a major influence in my love for the game today - I'm cheering for two.
- Watching her be a mother to two gorgeous girls. She poured herself into them so much that you can still see her influence in Haley, who was only six. Holly is with her now, and I know they are rejoicing over how their daughter/sister is turning out.
- Thousands of other things, way too many to list. If you want to ask, I would never get tired of talking about them.
I grieve only for me and the rest of us who love her. That we don't get to see her smile and hear her laugh every day. There is no need to grieve for her - she is happy beyond imagination. But the grief for myself is deep. I miss her.
- That she is in the presence of Jesus, and waiting to see me. As John Ed has always said, "Christians never see each other for the last time."
- That she taught me how alot about how to love our family...I pray every day that I can live up to that.
- That she will continue to witness for Christ for years through a scholarship in her name for UA students who aspire to follow her example. I know that many people will be influenced through these outstanding young people.
So today, I do remember. By worshipping God with my church this morning. By rejoicing with my niece Brooke as she got some good news at college today. By continuing some personal traditions that help me get through this day. But more than anything, I celebrate her life.
Thank you, Kim. Roll Tide. :) And happy birt...no, happy eternity!