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The Winner

Page II

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By

Bonnie M. Wells



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Your Brother Is There

Marbles

"Your brother is there....." the psychic's words came back to me as I sat alone in the corridor of the huge court house.

I smiled as the realization came to me .....

Our Dad's first name was Richard. He brought the law suit against the doctor named Michael and the case was handled by an attorney named Martin.

My brother's name was

Richard Michael Martin.

I could almost hear his laughter as I drove home that night ....

"Hey slick-chick, it took you long enough to figure this one out!

I'm one up on you now!"

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I Was Wrong

Marbles

{World, sit up straight, pay attention and take note here! You won't hear this very often from me!}

"I was wrong."

My brother had not lost his last battle. My brother wasn't a loser, he was a winner.....

Always had been, always would be.

Supernatural, spooky, weird, coincidence .....

Call it what you will......doesn't matter to me.

The Lord knew our grief and pain,

And wanted us all to know that Mike was there....

In spirit and name.

And that he was there too,

And regardless of what they would do.....

Mike Martin was one man that it would take more than one lifetime to bury and forget,

Because he was not accustomed to losing .....

And he hadn't lost yet!

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Gone, But Never Forgotten

Marbles

He's been gone nearly sixteen years, and yet he remains as much a presence as any I've ever known.

By the time he was fifteen he was working in a saw mill and building houses with Lee and Wade McGirr. He built his own house primarily by himself, and fenced his farm using old railroad cross-ties as fence posts. The fence stands even today as a memorial to his strength and determination.

Sometimes, when he was laid off (furloughed as the railroad calls it) he went back to being a timber jack with some of the old crew he'd worked with in former days. Other times he used the time to catch up on work he'd fallen behind on, but he never had an idle day, and he liked it that way.

His friends, young and old, were from all walks of life, and he liked that too.

I remember the time I accompanied my sister to a Parkersburg establishment to see a business acquaintance. Just as she was leaving the vehicle she saw a man she recognized and asked if I knew him. I didn't. She said he'd been one of Mike's closest friends, and introduced the two of us. He told me the following story about Mike, as tears streamed down his face.

It was Christmas Eve 1985. Mike showed up at "Jim's" house around seven o'clock that evening and asked him to come with him. Jim didn't hesitate or even ask where they were going, just put his boots and coat on and followed Mike to his car.

Jim said they "hit the grocery store first," and got two carts. Mike loaded hams, turkeys, pies, sweet potatoes, cakes, cookies, candy ...... almost everything he came to.....into the carts until both carts were heaping full. Jim asked him how many people he was feeding the next day and Mike just grinned. (I could see that ornery grin as Jim continued)

"Next, we hit K-Mart and when we left there wasn't an inch of available space in his vehicle, including my lap!"

Jim said he thought Mike was buying all this stuff for his family and even though he didn't say it, he felt the entire pack was taking advantage of him. (Guess Jim didn't know "the family" very well.)

He said Mike began driving around Parkersburg and Belpre, and every so often he'd stop the car and get out. Jim said he'd load his arms with food items and toys, load Jim down with the same and they would go up on the porches or patios of certain homes and place the items beside the doors.

Jim said it was well past midnight when they finished up that night and there was nothing left in the vehicle for Mike to take home to his own family, and he felt ashamed of his earlier thoughts.

"He knew those people Bonnie, he knew they didn't have anything for Christmas, and he did that on his own without anyone asking or anything. And you know something .... that was the best Christmas Eve I ever had in my entire life," Jim finished.

"That's the kind of guy he was. I just wish you had called me. I would have donated and helped deliver things too."

I said as I wiped away a tear or two of my own.

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He was my brother ....

He was always a winner.....

Cards

This story is hereby dedicated in loving memory of my brother

Richard Michael Martin

2-09-52 to 11-24-86

This story was originally posted on the 17th day of November in the year 2002.

Note: As of November 24th, 2007, Mike's been gone for twenty-one years. Mom and Dad are with him now. I miss them all.




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Bonnie M. Wells

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Page updates: 7-27-03 * 10-23-03 * 2-16-04 * 10-27-05 * Nov. 2006 * Oct.27, 2007 BMW