Growing up, my brother was my best friend. My partner in crime, my buddy, my friend. We spent a lot of time either actively trying to kill each other, or buddying up and defending one another from all comers. Clay understood my random sense of humor, loved me when I was a evil, mean older sister, and was always there for me. We were 14 months apart, and pretty inseparable.
He grew up, and into an honorable, kind young man, and joined the Navy, and I was just so very proud of him, always.
He married a wonderful woman and had two glorious, amazing, beautiful kids. He was a fantastic daddy, and still and always, my best friend.
Sadly, when he had been in service almost 17 years, and his babies were only 7 and 4, he passed from cancer. He was only 35 years old. Life is often unfair, and it was the hardest thing I had ever experienced up to that time.
I still miss him every day. My oldest daughter is beside him, and I know he watches over her as I try to do for his children. Every day, I remember them both, and am grateful for every moment I was blessed to walk beside them in this life.
Thank you both, for all the smiles, the love, the blessings, each and every one.