This is a word that is used every day but few really know its meaning, or maybe some just take this word more differently than others. Weather we like to believe it or not we are all made up of little bits and pieces of everyone that we come into contact with during our lifetime. Every person that passes through our meager existence contributes to us as a whole, no matter the length of time that we knew them. As a matter of fact I believe that time in regards to the degree in which they can shape our life has a very small factor.
I myself have known several individuals that have met these criteria, and to simply let their contributions to my life go unmentioned would not only be a loss to the world, it would also be a shortcoming on my behalf. One such very close first cousin and more so very close friend, was none other than Jeff Terry. He was the son of my mother’s sister Phyllis Terry, which I commonly knew as “Phid”, a more Christian woman I firmly believed never drew a breath.
Jeff was a few years older that myself, he liked his drink, he liked his women, and he sincerely loved his children. If nothing else could have ever been said about him that would be enough, his children were the fore front of his thoughts in every thing he did, a man among men. His life fell short in years, but what was a lack in time was made up for in quality. He was a true friend, one that would get out of bed late at night to help fix a flat, one that actually show up with a beer, and one that you did not have to wonder where his loyalty lay if ever you were out numbered in a fight. I once heard a saying “a friend will come and get you out of jail, your best friend will be in jail with you” and thought we never went to jail together I am sure it is only because the opportunity never arose. Thought he had his demons, as we all do, his contributions far exceeded his shortcomings.
Some call themselves a hunter, and try to induce others into believing it by showing off their trophies. Once you looked upon Jeff’s trophy’s their was no doubt as to what he was. I am certain that the wildlife of Scott County, Tennessee drew an easy breath the day that he was laid to rest. Not in a hundred seasons could anyone have ever killed as many dear as he did, if ever you told him that you wanted dear meat all that was left for you to do was to make room in your freezer and start preparing to skin one out, because it would be on its way.
I had many experiences with him, and all were good. Some of the more memorable moments in my life were spent on back roads late at night, driving around waiting for the red eyes to appear. During these times there was always a story to tell, and a joke to hear, we talked about the women we loved, and the women we wanted to love. We spoke of the past and of the future, unknowing that one would soon be the other. None of us have the perfect life, but most of us have the perfect moments. And for me one of those perfect moments was chocking out a wounded deer, because one round doesn’t always kill, and in saying he was a hunter did not always mean that he traveled with plenty of ammo.
He stood by me during the lose of my father, my home, and the separation of my children, and that was more than most did. He helped me in bad times, and he lauged with me during good. He drank with me many times, and he prayed with me one time, and that was enough for me to know where his heart was.
It has been several years since the passing of my friend, and yet he is still dearly missed. He was what in my mind is considered to be a true friend, loyal to the end, reckless without a cause. He made a permanent impression on me in the twenty eight years I knew him, and I am sure that he made an equal impression on everyone else around him. And thought we had different parent’s brothers we most definitely were, and brothers we will always be. Many words could be used to describe his death, but no amount of words could describe his life.
In Remembrance of my cousin, my friend, my brother.
Rest In Peace…