Farewell Childhood Friend

Farewell my childhood friend.
It’s time to let you go.
You have been such a comfort,
more than you’ll ever know.
It’s sad seeing you leaving.
I’m sure it must be best.
Life has long been the teacher
that keeps giving us the test.
May you find happiness
in all you venture in.
Take good care of yourself
and don’t forget your friend.

11-5-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
PS… for someone no longer here 😦

You Were Dear

A sign is left behind
that you were here.
You were loved.
You were dear.
Your life is gone,
Your spirit near.
How we miss
You being here.
We love you brother.
We miss you so.
God is blessed.
This we know.
Hug him for us,
As you wait along.
I hope we won’t
Be too long.

11-5-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

This was written for my baby brother Charlie who was killed when he was 37 years old. My mom had him 10 months after I was born. I always told everybody he was my 1st birthday present. Some people thought we were twins because we shared the same age for a couple of months each year.
His 2 favorite songs at the time of his death were
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe, and Long Black Train by Josh Turner

My Daddy

My daddy… he’s a man I miss out on when I’m not helping him.
When I don’t get out there and help him, I feel like I’ve deserted him.
Like I’ve left him out in the cold after all those times he’s sacrificed everything,
just to keep me fed.
When he’s out there working on that car in snow cold weather, he’s freezing.
He’s taking the chance of getting sick, or maybe catching pneumonia,
and he could die for this.
Just over trying to make sure we have the comfort and warmth, and saftey of a car
in case we would like to selfishly go get a coke, a pizza, or something
that takes more of his money that he works so hard for.
He breaks his back on a hard job to take care of us.
Not bothering him a bit that we sit nice and warm inside
with our socks off, playing cards, laughing, and having a fire going.
I feel so guilty if I don’t go out there.
Even if I don’t know how to fix a car.
Just to be there to hold the flashlight, or turn the switch,
or just be ready to get something for him.
So long as I’m out there freezing too, taking my fair share of the abuse,
and just somehow letting my daddy know I love him enough
to be out there in that cold too, lets me know that I’m no better than my daddy.
And I’m willing to sacrifice to prove it to him.
I want him to know I love him for all he’s done
and am so thankful to God that he’s here.
And even if he didn’t do anything, I would still love him just as much.
Thank you, God, for giving me a daddy at all,
and then thank you a million for making him the daddy I have.
Forever & Eternally Grateful

12-14-91 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
In loving memory of my dad Willard Brookshire
(Feb.13, 1944 – Jan. 27, 2005)

At Your Grave

Beauty in a death of one,
I really loved so much.
Though I’ve been through a lot,
I’ve never hurt as such
A devastating time as this.
It’s really something new.
How can I come to deal with it,
If I don’t know what to do?
All the days we shared together,
All the smiles we gave,
I never knew there’d be a day
I’d stand here at your grave.

8-9-89 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

He Lifted His Glass to Toast

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our meeting.”
He had made our enchantment special
with alcohol as our greeting.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to my bride.”
He made another memory
with alcohol at our side.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our night.”
He made a night to cherish
with alcohol in our sight.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our son.”
He made a vow of fatherhood
with alcohol on his tongue.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our girl.”
He made another vow for life
with alcohol in our world.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our life.”
He made his last night memorable
with alcohol as his wife.

For when he went to raise his glass,
he said, “Here’s to each day”
Then dropped his glass to the floor.
Alcohol took him away.

So as we lift a glass to toast,
these words on his grave are read:
“He lifted his glass to toast.
Here’s to all he said.”

8-22-1990 Wednesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Flight #3, Spring ’94, pages 109-110, and Flight, Spring ’95, page 13)
(by the grace of God)
A lot of people constantly thanked me for writing this poem, assuming this was my story. I actually wrote it to show my disgust in what alcohol was doing to families. However, alcohol did have its unfortunate grip on some of my family too.

Did He Try?

“Gasp…”,
he heard her cry at night.
He jumped out of his bed
to see that she was alright.
She was holding her hand over her chest,
agony upon her face.
He pulled her close with great concern,
but held her with such grace.
Her eyelids closed as she glared at him
with fear behind her eyes,
but his heart went out to her with ache,
for his love felt through the disguise.
He gently laid her head upon
his shirt right off his back,
then ran so quickly to the phone
to report her heart attack.
He then returned to her side
and held her in his arms.
Hiding his tears to give her strength,
he waited for the sound of alarms.
They needed no more than see them
and knew that she had died.
How would they tell the man who loved her,
it was a waste that he even tried?

10-2-1990 Tuesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, May 24, 1993 Issue, page 2)
(by the grace of God)
This was poem won over a layout Editor that was very much a stickler and a gruff on purpose. She told me so with a smile after she read this poem while typing into the campus paper. She told me she knew that I didn’t plagiarize it like a lot of people were doing since I sat down in front of them and wrote it for a needed fill in the paper. She said I was real and talented, and that I almost made her cry. I was glad to know she didn’t really hate me. 🙂

He Needs A Blanket

“We could take him a blanket. To keep him warm, Mom,” the child giggles. “Why else would he need it? But, Mom, you know how cold he gets. If we let him go without a blanket, he’ll get sick. We can’t let him down. Why are you looking at me like that? You look so sad. It’s o.k., Mom. All we have to do is take him a blanket. It’ll be all right.What do you mean he’s gone?” The child smiles and cheerfully continues. “No, he’s not. He’s just asleep, but he needs a blanket. Let’s take his favorite one, the blue one. He’ll love us for it. No, he’s not, Mom. He’s not gone. Come on, I’ll show you where he is. Don’t forget his blanket.”
The mother takes the child to her brother. The child jumps out of the car and runs eagerly to her brother’s side. She spreads out the blanket, on the ground, covering every inch of the freshly dug dirt. She talks to her brother.
“Hey, Brad. I thought about how cold you must be and talked mom into letting me bring you a blanket. She wasn’t going to let me at first, but I told her you would need it. Look, it’s your favorite one, the blue one. I remembered how you said it always kept you warm. Oh and look… shhhh… don’t tell Dad, but I snuck his big blue pillow to you, too. Remember how you always waited for Mom and Dad to leave every morning, just to savor an extra hour or two of laying your head on it? You always said it made you feel better. I hope it makes you feel better now. I can’t believe they left you out here to freeze. They know how cold you get. If you get sick and die, I’ll never forgive them. I love you, Brad. I miss you so much. Please come home soon.”
The mother, with her head hung low, stands beside her child. As tears roll down her cheeks, she wonders how she’ll ever help her child to understand she’ll never see her brother again because he’s already dead.

1991 Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Flight, Spring ’95, page 45)
(by the grace of God)
This little short story was written when I had lost a dear 19 yr old cousin to suicide.
I had no idea at the time that so many of the details would be so relatable to the loss of my baby brother who was killed 16 years later at the age of 37.