My head seems to gravitate on my eldest this week, Thing 1.
Being the oldest child isn’t easy. I know this for a fact, being the eldest of 4. My mother understands this too, being the eldest of two. As the eldest, we get in more trouble just because we’re the first child to do something. We also get into more trouble because we didn’t prevent our younger siblings from doing something stupid. By the time the youngest comes along most parents are tired, seasoned veterans, and happy that this will be the last time to see “whatever” until laughing at our children as they are going through the same things with their own children.
Thing 1 was a hot mess, and broke me in well. I’m sure his escapades are written in other columns, so I’ll spare those details. I –will- share the last time he came home.
I was getting married, again, and I didn’t really have a good track record with marriage. Managed to get some wonderful children along the way, but I can’t say anything better ‘n that.
Thing 1 had moved to California. After serving his time in the Army (Nationally Certified Medic), he had a change of heart. Packing parachutes and growing marijuana was his passion, and he was licensed and legal for both.
He came back home for one reason – to make sure his Mama wasn’t marrying another *#hole.
Not that the visit didn’t come with its own chaos. He beat me home and I arrived to find Thing 1 and a couple buddies drinking beer on the ridge of my roof – this, when I’m expecting my mother, grandmother and aunt to show up at any minute. I’m pretty sure yelling at the kids on the roof (they will –always- be my kids) in the front yard didn’t earn me any brownie-points with the neighbors.
Then came the night where he really got to know his soon-to-be step-dad. They stayed up –ALL- night talking. Apparently it was a really good night, because I ended up marrying the love of my life. I PROMISE it would not have gone through without Thing 1’s approval. He was –prepared- to tell the judge he objected if he thought so, and he would have been adamant.
He did wear a long beard to our wedding, against my approval. We were married on October 20, 2012 – and he planned to be a pirate for Halloween that year. I didn’t manage to get him to shave, but I did get him to put it in a pony-tail and tuck it under.
The last hug I got was putting him on the plane going back to California after our wedding. The last words I heard from him, while waiting in line for his last sky dive, were “Love you, Bye.”
He died August 24, 2013 in a skydiving accident.
Andrew Todd Cofer – aka Osamabin Cofer Lebowski
September 16, 1989 – August 24, 2013.
A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher. Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother. Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.