Five years ago today, Mr. Franklin lost his battle with ALS.
As I've watched all of the ice bucket challenges on Facebook--some of you people (ahem...Mr.and Mrs. Lee....) are quite creative with those--my mind always turned to him.
But the truth is, we can dump all of the ice that we want but awareness--true awareness--of this disease, unfortunately, can only be gained by watching someone you love go through it. It is an awareness I would wish on no one. Ever.
Today, however, I refuse to think of disease or death or sadness. Instead, I will think only of good memories of one of my favorite people.
I will think of chicken gizzards and ass kickin' peanuts. Forcing me to swallow the green Mexican pills that he was sure would cure food poisoning and him lining up the entire basketball team and making everyone drink an Alka Seltzer.
I remember sideways glances about jokes only he and I understood. His uncanny ability to remember even the smallest details about every show animal anyone ever had. Ducking chalk he sent flying when someone missed a parli pro question. I'll remember him chasing us up the hill with scissors and paging people to the golf cart at his last sheep sale.
I'll remember that the man who would lecture me for an hour about not finishing my orange juice or who would make the boys run until they puked in practice was the same man that would get tears in his eyes and a quivering lip anytime you won a contest or said goodbye to leave for college. He may have had a loud bark, but his heart was bigger.
And even five years later, I still miss him every single day.