Addison Danielle Dugan 2004-2013

AddisonPeaceSign

Addison Dugan

January 4 ,2004–June 12, 2013

We live in a world with no easy answers.  It’s been said, “What a difference a day (or week) makes.  One week ago today, a family and a community’s lives changed forever.  Addison Dugan, a precious 9 year old from Grand Saline, lost her life in a tragic auto accident.

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Thinking About Dad

mom 001Iphone01022013 010      Billy Joe George

Yesterday marked the 14th Father’s Day without my dad.  You know, you would think that it would get easier….it hasn’t.

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Remembering Julie

Julia “Julie” Akins

My how time flies.  The first anniversary of Julie’s death is only a couple of Continue reading

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Sarah Adams, Praying for a Miracle

Photo: My sweet daughter in law and grandaughtet. They are beautiful on the outside and inside!  Luv them!

Sarah Adams

Sarah Adams is 14 years old and an 8th grader at Quitman school.  She was the school Mascot this past year and is active in track and volleyball.  Due to her illness, Sarah missed the last part of the school year but did receive the President’s Award.   Continue reading

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Remembering the Times of Your Life

This past Saturday I was privileged to speak at the Brashear (Texas) Cemetery Memorial Homecoming.

Brashear holds a special place in my heart.  Dad was born and raised there and many of his family still live there. Continue reading

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Tribute to Our Fallen Soldiers….Thank You….Rest in the Arm’s of God.

Memorial Day 2012

Today we stop to remember and to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have lost their lives in service to this country.

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Mom’s (first) Mother’s Day in Heaven

My Mom  Dixie George

Well look at you.  You finally made it.  Your first Mother’s Day in Heaven.  Your prayers have been answered.  I’m so proud for you.  All that suffering you went through down here is now long behind you.

There has been many years that I didn’t get you a gift for your special day, but WOW you got a special gift this year.  I can picture you walking the streets of Gold, Worshiping our Lord in song.  That beautiful singing voice of yours has been restored.  Not much doubt in my mind that you are leading the Heavenly Choir in praise.  By now, I’m sure you have been reunited with all the family that went Home before you.

You loved to watch the Gaither Homecomings…..I would suspect, by now, that you have sang with Jake Hess, George Younce, and Your all time favorites…The Chuck Wagon Gang.  Just a reminder, mom.  Go easy on Vestal Goodman.  It will be hard on her now that she’s not the highest voice in Heaven.  Guess you two can do a duet and maybe you can hold back just a little so she will not be embarrassed.  Man, I can’t wait to sit and listen to you again someday.

Somehow, knowing you are in Heaven has renewed my spirit.  You’ve gathered up your grandbabies and are spoiling them, trying to keep dad in line, and loving every second of it.

This will be the first time I cannot personally tell you “Happy Mother’s Day, I Love You.”  Words mattered little to you and I over the past 8 years.  That old stroke took your voice and crippled your old body but it was unable to cripple your spirit.  Your eyes always told me that you loved me too.

You were my first love, you gave me my first kiss, you loved me unconditionally.  No matter what “dumb” thing I did (and there were MANY) you were always there to help me pick up the pieces.  You knew how to heal “booboo’s,” mend broken hearts and to help a little boy believe in himself.

Everything good, everything true, everything loving that I learned, I learned from watching you.

Life will be much different without you here but I will carry on until we meet someday…..Over the Rainbow…..In Heaven.

Love you Mom

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In Loving Memory of Janice Pinson

Janice Pinson (upper left) and her girls.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse…

We, at the Wood County Appraisal District, are in shock over the death of our beloved Janice.  Janice went home to be with the Lord this past Saturday afternoon.

This story begins several months ago when Janice’s son, Jade Allen, became ill.   About a two months ago Jade’s condition worsened.  Janice spent many hours with him at the hospital and at hospice.  Sadly, Jade did not recover from his illness.  His funeral was two weeks ago tomorrow.  Janice was devastated over the loss of her only child.  She is such a trooper that she came back to work the following Wednesday.  Obviously, she was very distraught but she felt being back among her co-workers/family would help to maybe ease some of the pain.

Janice was the light of our office.  Despite the troubles that she may have had in her life, she was always more concerned about the troubles we might be having.  Rarely did a day go by that she didn’t ask about my mom.  Janice was unable to attend mom’s funeral as she sat with her terminally ill son.  That did not keep her from calling and offering her condolences.  At Jade’s memorial service, as we passed by the casket bearing her son, she apologized for not being there for me.  That was Janice….even during the intense grief she was experiencing she took the time to make sure I was going to be OK.  AMAZING!!

Last Saturday night, I received a call from Alba Fire Chief Shawn Newland.  His words are forever etched in my memory…..”Byron, Janice is missing.”  My heart sank as I soaked in those words.  I could tell by the tone of his voice that it was serious.

 As I drove the 5 or so miles to her house, I prayed for her safety and recalled years worth of memories from the office.  Upon arrival I saw the men and women of several Fire Departments.  Emory, Alba and Quitman are the ones I recall being there….along with members of the Rains County Sheriff’s Office.  They were coordinating a search of the area.  These professionals were urgently trying to find Janice.  As they did a ground search, a DPS helicopter was called from Garland to do an aerial search using infrared and visual aides.  The helicopter made an intense search but had limited fuel and had to return to base.  This did not deter the ground forces.  They searched until approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning with no results.

After a few hours of restless sleep I returned to the scene to find exactly what I knew would be waiting.  These dedicated men and women were back on location continuing the search.  Young men from the ALERT Academy near Big Sandy had been called in to help.  They gathered their gear to do a grid search of the small lake behind the house.  Three divers entered the water in different locations around the pond.  Within an hour of entering the water, the worst fears of the family and friends became a reality.  Janice’s body had been found.

The anguish and heartbreak of her family and friends was almost more than one could bear to witness.  As the realization of what had happened began to sink in I dreaded what I had to do next.  I had to call the office staff and tell them that our friend, our family member had been found.  I don’t recall who I called but they said they would spread the word to the others.

We have all worked through this week in a trance, unable to comprehend that Janice wasn’t answering the phones for us.  She wasn’t there to make sure we were alright.

I would like to thank the citizens of Wood County, Texas for the calls of support and for helping us through this time of grief.

Janice’s memorial service will be Saturday morning at 10:30 @ Wilson-Bartley Funeral Home in Alba.  A private burial will be held later where Janice will be buried by her beloved son.

Please pray for her family tomorrow and pray for her extended family of 12 years.

Rest in Peace…Janice.

May GOD Bless..

Byron

Link to Janice obituary:  http://www.lbcalba.com/FuneralNotice.html

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Ally Baker…..God’s Angel

Ally Baker

Where do I begin?  Tragedy has struck our community once again.  Last night, Ally Baker, age 9, went to be with the Lord.  This vibrant, beautiful little girl had a brain aneurysm while playing on the playground of  a local church.

I did not know Ally personally.  I’ve known her grandparents since childhood and have known her daddy, Shaun, all of his life.

I’ts times like this that we realize how fragile life really is.  Here was Ally, at church, enjoying fellowship with others and suddenly she is gone.  Quite frankly, these are times that we realize there are things in this world that we do not understand.  This is one of those times.

My mom passed away two weeks ago after a long struggle from the effects of a massive stroke.  She was 80 years old.  She had a long, fulfilling life.  Then we have Ally….just a child in, what seemed to be, perfect health.  I’ll ask the question that mom indicated to me on many occasions and the question that most everyone is asking right now:

WHY?

Mom couldn’t figure out WHY she was alive in the state she was in.  I can’t comprehend the WHY behind the sudden death of Ally.

Death is as sure as being born.  It is a fact that we will all die someday.  It is equally true that I can’t and never will be able to answer the question of why?

The older I get the more I realize that the mysteries of this world will continue to be mysteries.

I would like to share a few scriptures from God’s Word that comforted me years ago and I pray will comfort Ally’s family as they cope with here loss.

Matthew 18:1-2
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

Shaun, Lindsey, and the rest of the family I hope you can picture Ally as being that little child.  Can’t you just picture her sitting in the lap of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?  She is laughing, smiling and nestled in the arms of the Creator.  I know you long to hold her but take comfort in knowing that she is in Heaven….the place we long to be.

I’m reminded of King David’s response when his young son died.  His servants were perplexed that he had prayed and fasted for God to heal his son and they were not sure of his reaction after learning of the child’s death.  David told them in:

2 Samuel 12:22-23  And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
We cannot bring our loved ones back but we can follow David’s example and go, someday, to be with them.

Shaun and Lindsey,  you likely have so many unanswered questions.  One question is answered….your little angel is in the presence of the Lord, Himself.

My prayers and the prayers of many are with you.

May GOD Bless..

Byron

A donation account has been set up for the Baker family at City National Bank in Quitman to assist with funeral expenses.

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Welcome Home Sgt. Tanner Higgins

 

Each and every day brings with it something special.  This day was no different.  I took my son to the airport in Dallas this morning.  I had business in Sulphur Springs so after leaving the airport I traveled Interstate 30.  Earlier in the day we had noticed Fire Departments, Police Departments, Public Safety officers gathering from all the cities along our route to Greenville.  They were coming together for one thing.  They were going to escort the body of a fallen American hero to his hometown.

As I approached Cumby, I realized that the procession carrying Sgt. Tanner Higgins had yet to pass this area.  Near Brashear I felt the need to stop and pay my respects to this brave young man.  I will say, I am so thankful that I did.  What I saw was a show of support that made me proud to be an American.  People lining the highway, crowding together on overpasses, flags everywhere, truckers showing support honking their air horns, young, old, veterans, non-veterans, people of all race, creed and ethnic backgrounds….coming together to honor a young man who died fighting for this country.

Sgt. Higgins will be laid to rest tomorrow.  Here is the link to his obituary: http://www.beatyfuneralhome.com/content/obituaries/view.jsp?OID=117929

After watching this amazing show of love and support for Sgt. Higgins wife and family I got to thinking.  Today, each and every person who lined these highways for mile after mile putting aside their differences and came together for a common cause.  Could you possible imagine this country if we woke up each morning and just loved one another.  Maybe, just maybe, the tragic death of Sgt. Higgins will in some way cause people to stop and realize what is truly important in this world……Peace and Love.

Sgt. Tanner Higgins, I thank you for your service to this country and giving the ultimate sacrifice.

May GOD Bless..

Byron

 

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