Tuesday, January 31, 2012

From Ridiculous to Extraordinary in One Tall Moment.

I knew that I would be protected forever because of the day I sprained my ankle after jumping off the bow of a boat.

I see some explanation is necessary.

I'm very vague on dates, unlike my older southern friend from Fried Chicken, Alabama - "Yes, that was Septembuh of nannyfo-uh..."(September, '94) so I'll guess this took place about 5-6 years ago. We were with family and friends out on our boat off the coast of Pensacola Beach in a rather choppy sea on a dolphin watch or fishing or something. Well...I get very seasick in a choppy, wavy gulf so Buddy offered to get as close to the beach as possible and drop some of us off at Fort Pickens. The waves were bringing the boat in closer than was safe so Buddy hollered, "Y'all need to get off now before we get beached!" I, being a cross between the Proverbs 31 and Ephesians 5 wife, immediately jumped off the bow of the boat into what I thought was 18" of water. It turned out to be closer to 6" of water. Owee.

My oldest son, Buddy IV, was with us that day. Upon seeing my obvious and extreme pain, he plowed into the water as the boat was rapidly receding from the shoreline and swam to my side. The look of concern on his face touched me forever. He didn't know whether to blame his dad for yelling at us to jump, or to blame the boat for it's sub-par design that could allow it to be grounded in 6" of water, or to blame God for making waves in the Gulf that day.  He proceeded to show me compassion and aid that I didn't think was possible from a 21 year old boy.

That's not a very dramatic story, but it is typical of the character of my son. (Both of my sons, actually.)
Barney B Burks, IV, aka Baby Buddy, aka Little Bud, aka Bud was our Bouncing Bundle of Blessedness. Being pregnant with him was akin to hiking uphill with a 60 pound backpack strapped to your belly. He was about 20" long and weighed 10 pounds 10 ounces at birth. I called him the Cube. Not really. But I have used that expression when describing him as a baby. 

Oh. My. Gosh. The cutest baby ever. Dimples as deep as moon craters, wide open grins all day long, curly blond locks, and poop constantly running out of his diaper. Baby Buddy grew in knowledge and in stature. Mostly in stature. He graduated from high school at 6'3" and then grew 2 more inches after that. The freshman fifteen, for him, meant inches. It's nice to be tall, but the best thing about Buddy is not A single thing, it's three:

            •  His ridiculous personality. Unlike the rest of us, Buddy     won't repeat something funny if he thinks he wasn't heard. But you don't have to worry because something new and funny will be coming shortly.

  • His humility. This boy was good at every sport he tried. And believe me, he tried many. He's even good at Scrabble, which boggles the mind if you've grown up with him and listened to his vocabulary. But we had to pry out of him any of his accomplishments. (also unlike most of us) He never, ever brags on himself. Thank goodness for Bree, his amazing wife, my third daughter. Bree used to have to make him call me to tell me little things like winning a game BECAUSE OF BUD'S GRAND SLAM!!! One day I got an email from Bud and all that was enclosed was a link to another website. It was merely the University of Florida Intramural website stating the winner (Bud) of the best baseball hitter on campus...The Home Run Derby! University of Florida, home to 45,000 students. Sheesh.
  • His character. Of course you think your children are special. Each one of them has a gift. Everyone knows that. However, this young man has continued to blow our minds with his wisdom, capacity for love, and loyalty. He is child-like and a cut-up  90% of the time. As a matter of fact, if you didn't know him but happened to come upon Bud playing around with his family or friends, it would quite surprise you (because of his shenanigans) to learn that he has a masters degree in structural engineering. He does not quite fit the mold of the average engineering student, believe me! But he never ceases to amaze us with his ability to comfort, his desire to be Christ-like, to show compassion, and to bring a peaceful solution to any problem. His depth and insight are straight from Paul's prayer in Philippians 1:9-10: 
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ..."

One of the most beautiful things about my life is to see the love my children have for one another. ♥ I've never seen anything like it. When they are all together, the mood is usually set by Bud. He is a stabilizing factor in their lives...especially Jake's. Bud chose Jake to be his best man in his wedding. It was the best day of Jake's life. You see, Bud has been almost like a second father to his little brother. Not that Jake needed one because he has a wonderful dad. (and he certainly did NOT need any more mothers.) But Bud took it upon himself to be whatever Jake needed and he took his role seriously. When he turned 21, he chose not to drink because he did not want Jake to ever see him with alcohol and be tempted to do the same. He was on the sidelines of Jake's football games just like one of those dads that remembers every single play his son performs. It was torture for him to have to miss Jake's college games so he would try to listen online or at least watch the play by play stats on the UWA website. (torture, indeed). It's a beautiful sight to behold whenever they are reunited. 

Today (Feb. 1) is Bud's 27th birthday. To say we celebrate this day is an understatement. Buddy, you are both insane and an inspiration. Preposterous and a paragon. Here's to you, Buddy IV. Thank you for protecting our family and pouring your joy into our lives.

"word from your mutha."


  1. This made me tear up! The way you love your family is such an inspiration!