chapter 1….wake me up early, be good 2 my dog and teach my children to pray

This morning I am reminded how important feeding the spirit is in ones life, as I mourn the death of a friend and cohort, Donovan Barnes. Donovan was killed in a car accident last night along with the passenger. Barney, as he was known to the folks of Lake Pickwick, was an extremely good person here on earth, as far as I no. We hadn’t been home from work long when we, my wife and son, received news of the crash and then the message was text to my wife that Barney had died on impact and our household took a collective gulp of air and the house went quite and I walked over to the desk where Diana was still working and tears began 2 fall from our faces. My arms went around my wife and I held her for minutes….in silence only broken by the sniffing of the drainage of crying.  And the sounds of crying would continue thru the many questions that were asked and soon the trembling voice of my son spoke, “He was in the restaurant just a day or 2 ago. He was getting a girl an order of loaded fries” , Nick spoke with low volume and weakly concluded, “I cooked um for him.” Barney was a management level employee of PICKWICK PIZZA CO, a rival competitor of ours here in Lake Pickwick, but 2 us Barney was family and friend.

We first met Barney some 3 or 4 yrs ago when he moved to our little town from Arkansas to help run a Cobalt dealership that was across the hwy from the Broken Spoke, our restaurant. We soon knew all about this short but stout young ex-solider. His quite nature and quirky smile welcomed all conversation, never speaking over anyone, always polite and soon our friends were his friends and any friend of his became a friend of mine. I do not use friend lightly, like facebook does. I use it because among other lesser things, Barney was good to my dog, BOO. HE EVEN CREATE A FAN PAGE FOR BOO ON FACEBOOK, posting pictures and telling folks to be a fan of BOO. Boo was old, 14 or 15, when Barney and Boo met. He and Boo spent a lot of time together on the deck at the Spoke. Boo’s cancer was just setting in good when they met and tumors began popping up all over Boo’s body and they both new the better days of Boo were behind him, but that didn’t bother Barney. As Boo’ got closer and closer to his passing into dog heaven, Barney would clean Boo’s nose of blood trickles that would appear from a tumor on Boo’s head and nose area. We all braced ourselves for the day Boo would no longer b with us. We were as prepared as anyone could get for boo to die, but none of us were prepared for Barney to die.

I often say we are nothing more than what we create and Barney created. He created a place right next to him where u could be accepted for the good in u, and u were not prejudged, or categorized, or looked down upon. Barney created time and space for u where ever he was. He would help people for the fun of it, open his home 2 the friends who didn’t need 2 drive, and was an enemy only to the warring souls of the far east. Barney created a friend in me and for me. I was not ready 2 lose my friend. I was not prepared physically, or mentally, but I was prepared spiritually. At first word of the deadly crash, we all prayed…..yes we prayed that he would survive and that his passenger would be unhurt. Not but minutes after our prayer gave us hope that God’s plan was not to take Barney 2 Heaven, just yet, the text came…..Barney was dead….along with his passenger…..both 2 young to out live their parents.

All love ends in Pain for someone, and this time it was my turn 2 feel the pain of losing a friend and a good soul. Should we not love because the end result will b pain? I think not. Our loving of others and our pain from the loss of them defines us as a nation, community, and people. The sting of this untimely death will soon pass for me and others, but family will never get over this loss, and it is for them today I pray. And even tho I have never met Barney’s parents I can tell u, by the way their son handled himself, they provided a loving place for Barney to learn life’s lessons. Now they must deal with the lessons learned thru the death of a child, and answer the unanswerable question, ” why me Lord, why him, He was so good.” And I have 2 say the same thing 2 our God….”why Lord, why now”……and he will answer me some how some day. And I will realize the why or not.

How will ur final chapter in the Book of Life be written?…..with tear drops on the page if I have 2 rite it. And now my nose drips and my eyes blur with swollen tears, as I choke back an out loud cry of why……and I thank the Lord for my children and that the Master Plan has allowed me 2 out live my mom and my dog and my friend, DONOVAN BARNES….MAY THEY REST IN PEACE. And I must carry on and try 2 b more like Barney, humble, brave, honest and loyal…….. these r the things Barney re-created, where ever he was and is. Thank u Daddy for teaching me how 2 pray, and Thank u Lord for time on this earth with one of ur Angels flying 2 close to ground.

Barney would u do me one more favor, and rub BOO’S head and scratch his ears for me, after u look mom up and tell her I am OK….I no she worries about me….still. How do i no this? She taught me how 2 pray and fight for a cause…..because she loved me, and the world is a hard place 2 live….righteously. Barney, goodbye, till we meet again and thanks for the Iran soldier’s helmet u gave me….I will carry ur love with me forever.

Teach ur children 2 pray…..It is the best tool u can hand them at the Dinner Table of Life.