My sister Doris had left home early. I was small, but missed my sister. She had a boyfriend, or husband or two before she met the man she settled down with and considered her Prince.
The first time I met Vernon was due to a tragic event. Doris and Vernon and been seeing one another, but I had not yet met him. Doris’ youngest daughter, Laura was tragically murdered. This news was so devastating to our family. Laura was our sunshine. She had two little girls to raise. How could this happen? Well, staying on topic, we all rushed to gather with our family. To try to make sense of this. It is there I met Vernon. Who was this man comforting my sister, though tears were streaming down his own face? It was so touching! Such a big handsome man, with such a tender heart. I knew then that he really cared for my sister, and for her daughter that she had just loss. I was all on board with this guy. It was even sealed when he and Doris took on the task of raising Laura’s two and a half-year old daughter, Sela. They took her in and raised her as their own. Sela had an awesome childhood in spite of the tragic start. (My sister Brenda took on the six-week old baby, Angel,) Although Sela and Angel were apart they were always aware they were sisters. And were given many opportunities to see one another.
Through the years Vernon and Doris traveled with us on many vacations with our kids. We really enjoyed their company. We got to know Vernon pretty well and really liked this guy! He was easy to get along with. But not a push over. He loved to eat and was happy with most restaurants we chose. I miss those days traveling with Vern and Doris.
Vernon was a huge help in getting us started in our Rental House business. If not for Vernon, I doubt we would be where we are today. We owe that all to him. He has been a mentor and a helper. Dennis would help him with his houses if they were out-of-town and he would help us if we were out-of-town. Or really just anytime anyone needed anything. When Dennis is out-of-town and I have to collect rent, He would always say, “Swing by and pick up Vernon. I don’t want you going into those neighborhoods by yourself!” I would go over and pick him up. He never hesitated. My renters seemed to always know him by name. It’s like everyone knew Mr. Vernon. And liked him. His reputation was that of being a good, fair man.
One day Dennis was out-of-town, I could not reach any of my sisters, and I had a migraine that had gotten out of hand. I needed to go to the doctor immediately. I called Vernon. He was here within fifteen minutes. He helped me to the car, drove me there and brought me home. So kind. I was so appreciative.
Dennis and I were able to spend a few hours with him this past Thursday. I knew Vernon was very sick. When I went in he had not touched his food tray! Everyone who knew Vernon could tell you HE LOVED TO EAT! I picked at him a little and he ate a bite of chicken and a strawberry or two. But still, not like Vernon! His spirits were not extremely low. He was hoping that he could have the surgery and be able to do what he has been used to. Sadly, he did not progress in the next day or so. His condition worsened.
Vernon LOVED his children and grandchildren. This included any and all step-children he might have had a hand in raising from former wives. Yes, if you had a relationship with Vernon. A divorce didn’t end the relationship with the kids from that marriage. He was such a loving man he had love to spare. All these children WERE his children and their grandchildren WERE his grandchildren. He made no differences. Except if you were one of Vern’s Grandkids, you thought YOU were the favorite. That is how he made each one feel. Vernon wore many hats. He was an exceptional uncle to my children, a wonderful husband to my sister. and oh what a POPPA! He was also a very, very good brother-in-law, and Friend.
4:40 AM…. that is not ever a good time to receive a phone call. A knot in my stomach formed. It was my sobbing sister. She had lost her precious Vernon. He had passed away. I was so saddened and sorry.
He was a big man leaving big shoes to fill.
Heaven is rejoicing……I hope there is a swing up there…..he sure loved sitting in that swing on the back porch…..Many, many people are sure gonna miss him. ♥