Big Emmett is gone! I don’t know any other way to say it. Big Emmett is gone. Big Emmett was my brother N law for the past 46 years. He passed away on Saturday January 30 from cancer.

The call came at 7:44 on Saturday evening. It was one of those phone calls that seemed odd for the time of day for whatever reason. When my phone started its familiar chime and I looked down to see my sisters name I knew something was up. Initially I thought it might be something with my dad. He’s 95 and I’m always fearful of getting that call in the middle of the night about him.

It was my younger sister. Her voice had a gravity to it. Yep, something was up. Something was wrong! I waited. I waited while she worked around to getting to what she had called for. Before long she said Big Emmett had passed. DAMN! Damn was the word that spilled immediately from my mouth. I knew he was sick but… I would send him a weekly text to ask him how he was doing and his answer was always upbeat, instead asking how I was doing, how my family was? I let it sink in. Big Emmett is gone! He went peacefully with my older sister, the love of his life, by his side.

Big Emmett

Emmett was stage four… But he was Big Emmett. My Dad is 95 and I could have reasonably expected the call to be about him. I have another brother-in-law with cancer as well. He’s been critically ill for a while. The call could have been about him. But not Big Emmett!

It will take some getting used to. I don’t know anybody who didn’t like him. I never heard anyone say anything bad about him. I’ve called a couple of people who knew him from college and his marriage to my sister. They have expressed the same surprise I did.

“Solid.” That was my dad’s description of him. “Solid.” Someone you could count on. Someone who gave comfort to others. After my Mom passed and my Dad started living alone. Emmett called him every morning. Every morning on his way to work Emmett would call my dad just to check on him. If Daddy didn’t answer for whatever reason, Emmett drove to his house. If I came into town to visit my Dad, Emmett always came over and he, daddy and I would have big laughs, about our lives, family.

Why was he called Big Emmett? It’s true he was a big man, six foot eight a former athlete, and he has a son named Little
Emmett. But that wasn’t why I called him Big Emmett. He wasn’t flashy, wealthy, a big shot, a celebrity. He was Big Emmett
because he was a big man in terms of being as my dad said, solid. Solid in terms of caring for others, in terms of caring for his family, in terms of caring for my dad like he was his dad, which Daddy became. He was always there whether to talk and laugh, check on Daddy, be a good father and grandfather, be a brother to me, a good husband.

I will miss him I’ll always love him. Big Emmett. Solid as a rock.