Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In Memoriam: Jon Kipling Bohannon Nov. 3, 1956 - December 19, 1998

My brother Jon was a guy who was passionate about fishing, about partying, and about women. Combine all three of those things and Jonny was in heaven, which is where (I can only hope) he is right now.

In our family of five, Jon was the only boy, and the sibling closest to me in age. One of my favorite memories is how - when he'd teased me to the point where I'd finally lose my temper, which he loved to do - I'd chase him down the hall to his bedroom and he'd jump into bed and pull the covers of his head, shouting and laughing that the blanket was his "shield of defense" as I did my best to pummel him senseless (hey, I was a little girl and he was my older brother - I couldn't have hurt him if I wanted to). No matter how mad I'd get at him, we'd both end up laughing over his very verbal, and very ridiculous mock defense.

As an adult, Jonny wasn't perfect. He was often unreliable, sometimes a bit shady, and always drank too much, but he'd give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it. He had a big heart, and zest for life. That zest for life is, unfortunately, what eventually what did him in, and he died far too young of chronic liver failure. He knew it was coming for a couple of years, and he became very, very ill near the end, but he wasn't bitter. He'd lived his life the way he wanted - he'd traveled all over the world only to settle in his beloved Key West, where he could fish and laze away his days with pretty girls and laid-back people like himself.

He died nine years ago today, just before Christmas. So today I'm remembering him, and I hope a few other people do, too. Even though I had a chance to say goodbye right before he died, I'd like him to know one more thing: I've finally forgiven him for reading my diary when I was thirteen. :)

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