Some of us are fortunate enough to know someone who's a genuinely good person. Who doesn't seem to have a selfish bone in his body or ill word for anyone. I knew someone. He was a good man and a gentle soul. It wasn't a mask or pretend, he just was. His name was "Tex". He was over 6 feet tall and skinny, but was a teddy bear none the less.

He was a best friend and would have one day been a great husband and father. He had a softer spot than most for children and animals. When he left school he joined the Army. I know that seems to contradict everything I've said about him, but he did it so he could help people. He told "Jessi, this way I can help all over the world."

While in the Army he met a woman who had a child. He fell madly in love with her. Perhaps just in love with her child. We'll never know.

They married and seemed happy. He was over the moon to have an instant family. He loved her little boy just as if he were his own.

A few months after they got married, Tex came down to visit as he was stationed the next state over. He mentioned that he was having some marital troubles and suspected his new bride might be cheating. We were not surprised because we had not thought them a good match. He had been firm so we had supported him in his happiness. He was concerned about what to do, about how it would effect his new son. We encouraged marriage counseling and perhaps divorce. He said he'd talk with her and think it over.

After that weekend we said our goodbyes and parted ways. The next day we received a phone call asking if Tex was still with us. He'd never arrived home and never reported back from leave. We called hospitals, police, anyone we knew in between our home and his. No one knew where Tex was.
We wrung our hands and searched on our own in known places. Two days later we got a phone call from police. Tex had been found dead by some hikers. He'd driven up to a favorite camping spot and killed himself in his car. His car had been littered with religious brochers, from churches in the area,  explaining what happens after death. There had also been a note. To his wife, his friends, and his son. He had felt it was better this way.

The Army held a nice funeral for him and his wife brought her lover to the funeral. She left before it was completely over. Tex's parents were devastated. The loss of their son and the cold distance from his wife during their grief.

When Tex's grandmother stood up to speak of him, she said a life times worth in just a few sentences. Her closing was "I can't believe he's gone. My gentle giant is gone." That line still brings tears to my eyes. It was so him. He was a gentle giant.

Our gentle giant has been gone 8 years today. I miss him just as keenly now as I did then. He's left a hole that will never heal and never be filled.

Sean Michael "Tex" Smith. You lived with honor and kindness. The world should  strive to be more like you.

 All of us, having fun about 6 months before he died. From right to left we have: Ian, Anthony, me(sitting), Sean(standing), Emily(sitting), Sharron(standing), and Chad. Behind the camera is Holly.


Leann said...

That brought tears to my eyes. I remember so vividly his funeral and the pain his family and friends were feeling. I did not know him well but the loss of someone so young, so senselessly is truly tragic. Hang onto his memory my darling. He is always with us.

Love you

Anonymous said...

He was a great guy, this was beautiful... I wish things had gone differently.... I hope he knows how much we all still miss him.

immortalofdarkness said...

Thanks for posting this! It's nice to know that other people remember him as fondly as I do, and great to be reminded about how close-knit we all used to be.

I so often wonder how things would be if he were still around. I've been trying to type this for 10 minutes, I just don't have the words, even all these years later.

Love you, ma'am. Call me if you want to talk, or anything. Thanks.