I’ve been grieving and maybe this will help:
I want to tell you about the Butch Gledhill I knew. I met him in Orlando, Fl June of 1985, I was 24 & he was 26. His longtime time friend Critter dated my roommate Charlotte. It took a month of Butch pursing me & not taking no for an answer for me to take the time and sit down and talk to him as a #friend. Also, our roommates wouldn’t let up either. The first night I talked with him he intrigued me with his intelligence. We were able to have deep conversation. Then he was as cute as can be. Then we all started hanging out at his house with the parties. Oh my goodness, so much fun for me because I love people. I noticed Butch did too. We went to concerts together & I liked concerts. His friends were close and really cared. His brothers & dad (with stepmom everyone loved, miss Peggy) was there working out of town too. I liked them and we were all happy. Like a when “America was great” time. I was a bank teller with a 3 year old daughter when we met. He was not scared. He treated her right & respectfully. Butch was a Patriot and he loved America. He was a full blooded southern man. I only “endured” roll tide and laughed at him when he got on the floor during the football game after Thanksgiving with all the family. He was jolly and happy. Everyone loved Butch.
I was a Christian and he wasn’t. I wouldn’t marry him until he was. A year later in August 1986 we went to church together and he went to the altar and prayed. I watched him. We talked about Jesus a lot while dating. Butch knew the Gospel. We married December 1986 after moving to Georgia September 1986.
We went to church together & prayed together. He really never studied the bible with me but that was ok. He worked everyday and drove 45 miles to Savannah to make more money. I got to be a stay at home mom. Looking back at 57 years old with my children grown, that was the best gift a momma could ever want. The blessing of raising your children until Kindergarten. This will be my best memory with Butch. That was the best gift he gave me. Everyone in Georgia in our community and our church family (Baptist) loved Butch also. His personality was contagious. He was a fisherman, hunter and I was one of the hunting widows with the women in our circle. I learned how to have a garden and de-head shrimp, can & make homemade bread. Butch & I learned from the ones older than us like the Bible says to do. We had cookouts with our neighbors and church friends. We did truly love each other……..
Then we had Dustin April 1989. Then we lost him August 1989.
I cannot tell you what that did to my family, my church and neighbors and to us. It was a hurricane and I became homeless in my soul. I will honor Butch and just leave it as our marriage was destroyed by this & my surviving children. Now one of them, Allie, we lost too. Oh my soul.
Now Butch is gone. When Allison died it’s like I went back to the day Dustin died and I’m starting all over again. Then Butch dies and I go back to 1985 and I’m there. These are the only deaths I have suffered in my life. And he’s with our babies. I will always remember Butch since they are together as a family now, I can’t think of them without their dad with them. My grief is different now and I can’t explain it. I was somebody in his life. I know he’s talked bad about me through the years after our divorce. Of course, isn’t that how divorce stories go? But we lost a baby in our story and no one can touch our sacred bond unless they are a bereaved parent too. He’s in heaven with our children and I will never forget him. I felt his apology, remorse & regret because I knew he was standing before God. He repented for what he did to me in our divorce. I felt it strong all the way with me to the funeral. He had a lot of regret and remorse. I had to accept the fact I got it in death and that’s not how I wanted it. I wanted more holidays with him and Paige and our grandchildren. He was the leader. He was the man. I wish he didn’t have to go.