I can't begin to describe the despair that went through me when I got the call that you were gone. I kept thinking “NO! You can't be gone! You shouldn't be gone! It wasn't supposed to end like this!” (It is a good thing the Lord is in charge and is much wiser than we are.) It is also probably good he didn't tell me he was taking you so soon because I would have begged him not to. I would have told Him you have been through enough already. I would have told Him your sisters have already suffered too many losses and couldn’t bear losing another brother. I would have told Him Diane and the kids need you. I would have tried to counsel the Lord when the truth is He knows what's best- and more importantly-He knows we didn't come here to stay.
You know growing up together like we did sometimes the line between cousins and siblings was pretty blurry whether it was on Shadowlawn Avenue, College Avenue or out at the farm. I can’t even think of our childhood without getting a big smile on my face. How many kids had a big meadow to play in with a creek running through it where they could catch tadpoles and frogs and climb trees to their hearts content? I’m not even going to bring up all the mischief we got into because then I would also have to identify the instigator and I just don’t think that would be fair to you now that you are not here to defend yourself. (Wink, wink) And it almost seems unreal sometimes that we had an 83 acre farm to roam as we pleased with a couple of beautiful waterfalls and an old cemetery to explore. You and I never found any place in this world we loved more than those waterfalls. They grabbed our hearts and never let go—although, I know we aren’t the only cousins who feel that way. I am just so grateful we spent so much time loving and exploring those falls together—and even better, captured some of those memories in pictures to keep and look at again and again.
Ned, I am so grateful to have had you in my life. I will miss receiving texts from you that make me laugh out loud or smile from ear to ear. I will miss knowing you are there to chat with if I just feel like it. I will miss our “love you mostest” battles but MOST of all I will just plain miss YOU. These last few years though the miles between us have often been many - the distance has never felt like more than a stone's throw. I love you so much Nedrick and I feel so blessed to be your cousin and your friend. Thank you for being such an important part of my life. I promise not to stay sad though because I know I will see you again .
Nancy's turn on the falls! A very fun day!
Ned's wife Diane, Nancy and Ned