Just who was Randy Brown?Randy married my cousin/sister, Amanda when she was just 17. I think we all loved him from the moment he walked into our lives. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t Randy and Amanda. He was one of the most handsome men I have ever known, he had the best hug in the world, the biggest heart, and the warmest laugh. Amanda said something to me last night that was most profound. She hugged me when she finally got home from Atlanta and said, “I have to remember that I am not the only one who is grieving Randy….” Wow. How right she is….So let me tell you a bit about Randy the worker: Randy was a firefighter the majority of his career. When he retired he just could not sit still so he went to work for a locksmith and another company who bid large water systems. He liked to work and he loved people…and it showed. I always thought he was so handsome in his fireman’s uniform. It was even better when Amanda was all decked out in her nursing attire…they always made a striking couple. Randy the father: Randy was a great dad. He made sure his kids knew he loved them. He made sure they learned good values. He made sure they had adventures in their lives….and adventures there were many. I was fortunate enough to be along on numerous adventures and what I gained from them in memories will last a lifetime. Randy the grandfather: Randy had four grandsons. Two of them were fortunate enough to have experienced his love first hand for a short while. The other two will miss out on what a wonderful man he was….but I know Ramona and David and they will see to it that those babies know the caliber of man their grandfather was…I guarantee. Randy the friend: Need something? Randy had it. Need help? Randy was there. Need to cry? Randy would hug you. Need a place to lay your head? His door was always open. Need anything? Randy was the man you called on. Amanda’s sisters and I have all drawn off of Randy’s strength at one time or another. When my marriage fell apart, Randy never judged…he just loved me…for who I was. I spent a lot of days healing in their house. When my parents came up missing….Randy rode the roads from the Valley to Alex City looking for them. When my father and mother died….Randy was there….holding me while I slowly came apart at the seams. Randy was as much a part of my life as the air I breathe. I know there are others who have stories just like mine. Randy the Christian: Randy believed in God. Randy had had many heartaches in his own life, yet he knew there was a higher power. He was a quiet man of faith….and a strong man of faith….and you just had to admire him. Randy the brother: Randy loved his family. He had a brother and two sisters and he loved them….we all did. He loved them…and us and made every effort to make us a well blended family. Randy never made Amanda chose between us or them….he just let us all love each other. I love the Brown family as if they were my own. I have to thank Randy for that. He was a smart man. Randy the husband: Randy loved Amanda with his whole heart. We used to sing a song together called “Wind Beneath My Wings” and I always thought the song was about Randy….being her wind….but you know…she was his too. They were best friends and loved each other with a love that was amazing. I remember when my marriage was failing how much I wished it could be like theirs. Neither of them were perfect…but they were the kind of material love stories are written about. Amanda was blessed to have walked beside him for the time she did. They had a life filled with adventure, love, and amazement. My heart hurts for her the most right now. I have always felt like her big sister….and even though I did not ever need too….felt like I needed to take care of her and protect her…..(can’t imagine why….she is an amazing woman)….and I wanted so much to fix this….and make it right….and couldn’t. There was nothing Randy could not do in our eyes and believe me….his bucket list was not empty. He lived a full and extraordinary life. We will miss you my dear Randy, but we will see you again someday and that is something to look forward to.
Superman Drew and Randy
The "red" shirt minus the khaki pants - Randy's signature attire
Born To Be Wild
The Chief Retires
Randy and Amanda in Knoxville
Somewhere between Gatlinburg and Cherokee
Family at Thanksgiving