On the night of November 3rd, as I sat at the Hardin-Simmons Computer lab lost in a world only concerned with my coming wedding; I had no idea what was occurring at that very moment in Gilmer, Texas merely around the corner from my home. At about 12:30am Meguell looked at his phone and told me my mom and Greg had called....almost instantly I started to get cold chills all over as he redialed to return the call. In that moment, I knew that something was wrong, because MY PARENTS are never awake that late when they have work the next day. I sat waiting, getting more and more nervous as he began to speak.... Meguell walked out of the lab and as I followed him I realized I did not want to hear what he was about to tell me!! Meguell had the calming look of concern and terror on his face as he listened to the phone, and I just stood shaking my head telling him no. As he hung up he told me stay calm, stay calm....I just told him to TELL ME!!! And I barely let him finish the words, "Your brother has been in an accident," when I began to freak out! I didn't know what to do!! I just began yelling and screaming and running and jumping! I had so many questions, so many concerns....I couldn't take it!
No not my brother, not my brother is all I could think. I just kept saying "Lord this cannot be happening....take it back, take it back...this isn't real!" None of it seemed right! Even as Meguell rushed me home, arriving at 6am to find two of my closest friends waiting with my family and crying with my mom; even as we went through the weekend with tons of family, people at our house all throughout the day, food and flowers being sent; even as I received cards of condolences, and as we all cried as we told his children; and even as we had his funeral and told him good bye, and even as we picked out the tombstone today; NONE OF THIS SEEMS RIGHT!
I have so many questions, but the biggest is "WHY??" He has three small children, why? He is such a good dad, why? He is such a good man, why? He is such a good brother, why? Why didn't he only get hurt? Why didn't he get a second chance? Why my big brother? Why did any of this happen?
As I look at those precious children, it just doesn't seem right. He was a good daddy, not one of those that has children then neglects them! He takes care of them, loves them, and adores them....And now these children who are totally in love with their daddy will grow up and not even know him. That is not fair!! It is not right to have to tell a two year old, a four year old, and a seven year old that their daddy is in heaven. Or to hear a little boy tell you, "My daddy was in a car wreck...My daddy's an angel." These are not supposed to be things a child has to say. He loved his children and took care of them, and now he has been taken from them!
Growing up I have always been the youngest of 3....but now there are only 2 of us. My brother was always my protector, I always knew he would take care of me, no matter what....but now he is not here for that. Someone stood in front of my sister and me and said "Wow yall are all grown up: Brittany is getting married and Cassey is having a baby..." and we both cried....the ending of that sentence is ...and Shane is dead. That is the first time I have written or said those words, it just doesn't seem right! And at such exciting times in his sisters lives! I know my big brother would have been so proud of me on my wedding day, and that he loved Meguell like I knew he would. And I know that my big brother would have made the best uncle in the world for my sister's baby: Noah Jeffery Shaw.
My big brother, Jeffery Shane Billingsley was an amazing man, a great brother, and the best father in the world.