Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gone but Not Forgotten


My sweet brother, Raymond Edgar Banks, age 86, died peacefully in his sleep yesterday (October 2, 2009) at Westminster Woods Retirement Home in Jacksonville, Florida. I visited him in August and felt that his days were numbered here on this earth. As much as I will miss him, I know now that he is in Heaven with all of my immediate family (Mom, Dad, brother Jimmy, wife Evelyn, granddaugher Kimberly).

Ray was born on Dec. 31, 1912, in Big Stone Gap, VA. After high school graduation, he went into the Navy and then graduated from Virginia Tech. He met his wife (Evelyn) and they got married at her home in California on Feb. 18, 1951. They moved to Rockville, MD where they lived for many years. Ray was a Navy Civilian Government employee for many years. They raised three children: Steve, Bob, and Carolyn. From these three children came six grandchildren.

When Ray and Evelyn retired, they moved to St. Augustine, Florida and lived there until they moved to the Westminster Woods Retirement Home several years ago. Evelyn died in September of 2007. Ray had been in declining health for awhile.

You can see more pictures of my older brother by clicking HERE. I had written a post about our trip to see him this past August. I am so glad that I had that last chance to see him. Pictured above is one of my favorite pictures of Ray when he and Evelyn and their son Bob visited us here in Tennessee in 2004. Below are a few more pictures.




This is my family (taken about 1946 I think). I am in front (obviously)--and my special dolly (LuLu) is on the ground in front of me. From left to right: brother Jimmy (Jim) --who died from cancer in 1985; My Dad --who died in 1969; My Mom--who died in 1991; and brother Ray. As you can see, I am the only immediate family member left.




This picture was taken about 1944. Do you think that little girl looked up to her big brother???? You betcha!!!!





This picture was taken at Evelyn's memorial service in September of 2007 in Jacksonville, FL. From left to right: Cousin Tommy Cummings (a good buddy of Ray's), Ray and me





This picture was taken on August 4, 2009--when George and I visited Ray. "You may be gone, Big Brother, but you will never be forgotten."

In Loving Memory of RAYMOND EDGAR BANKS (1922-2009)

Tell the ones you love just what they mean to you . One never knows when they may be gone.
Hugs,

P.S. Forgive me if I miss your blogs or miss posting for a few days. I WILL be back!

103 comments:

Salitype said...

oh! betsy...so sorry to hear about your loss.

in behalf of my husband, my little one and all the authors of salitype society, i offer my condolences!

Pat - Arkansas said...

I am holding you in my thoughts and prayers, Betsy

Chris said...

So sorry for your loss Betsy.

Tes said...

So sorry to hear about Ray. My husband, Doods and I join The Salitype Society in extending our condolences to you and your family.

How lovely that you have kept all those beautiful photos, Betsy! So you are the little girl in the family! You look so cute in those photos.

This is a beautiful tribute to Ray!

*hugs, Betsy*

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Lovely tribute, Betsy. Take comfort in knowing he's now in a better place.

Arkansas Patti said...

Thoughts and prayers to you and Ray's family. He may be gone but those wonderful memories never leave.
Warmest of hugs.

SquirrelQueen said...

Betsy, I am so sorry to hear about Ray. Your post is a wonderful tribute to his memory. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Judy

Cedar ... said...

What a lovely tribute to your brother. Special hugs to you, Betsy!

♥Kathy♥ said...

Betsy I am truly sorry to hear about your dear brother Ray. I loved reading your post. What wonderful memories you have of him. ((Big Hug))

Ocean Girl said...

So sorry to hear of your loss Betsy. My thoughts are with you.

T said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Betsy!

Sending prayers and big hugs your way.

storyteller said...

I'm sorry to learn of your loss. My brother died about a decade ago. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
Hugs and blessings,

Small City Scenes said...

Gone but not Forgotten--so true. He will be in your heart forever.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. MB

Daisy said...

Betsy, I'm so sorry to hear of your brother's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs to you from Daisy.

NCmountainwoman said...

You'll be in our thoughts, good blogger buddy. Very nice memorial to your brother and very good advice to us. There will definitely be more hugging around here.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: Sorry for your loss, he lived a long life and I'm sure he is happy to be united with his wife and family.

Jen said...

So sorry to hear of your loss Betsy. {{hugs}}

Dorothy said...

Wishing you Blessings and Peace to you during these difficult days.
Love and Prayers,
Dorothy

Beth said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Betsy. My sincere condolences to you and your family. How wonderful that Ray passed so peacefully, that he is now reunited with so many loved ones that went before, and that you have such sweet memories to hold on to.

God bless you, my friend.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so sorry for your loss Betsy. It is evident that you had a wonderful Brother and how much you adored him.
I love that he is now having a family reunion of his own with his loved ones.
Take care. My thoughts are with you this weekend.
XOXO
Suz

The Incredible Woody said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts. Much love!!

cherie said...

deep condeolences and sincere prayers, ms. betsy. i know you've had good times. you did good by visiting him last august - what fun i had reading your post then! may he rest in peace, ma'am.

ROSIDAH said...

Dear Betsy, my heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences on your great loss. It's good to know that you still had a chance to see Ray in August. May he RIP now. I so agree to you that we got to tell the ones we love just what they mean to us because one never knows when they may be gone. So I'm sending you my love from Indonesia. Hugs :)

Karin said...

My heartfelt sympathy dear Betsy! May it comfort you to know that you'll be in our thoughts and prayers. What a lovely tribute you wrote to honor your dear brother! Lots of love and hugs from Canada!!!

TSannie said...

Here from Faith, Fabric & Photos. What a lovely tribute to your much loved brother. I know you're going to miss him greatly, but it sounds like good memories will help you. Thinking of you.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Betsy, I'm so sorry for your loss. The promise of reuniting in Heaven is a glorious one, and I'm glad you are holding on to that in faith.
Praying for you,
Adrienne

amelia said...

So sorry to read of your beloved brothers loss.
Not much will make you feel better, only time...
You have lovely memories and hopefully that will help a little.

Cicero Sings said...

Sending condolences your way. I'm so glad you were able to have a good visit with him in August. Now you are the one and only! Kind of hard to be some time.

Me own Mither is a young thing in comparison, being born in July 1914 so your brother lived to a ripe old age.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Betsy,it just came to me,that right now your brother is dancing on the streets of Glory.WOW!Who know,maybe he is dancing together with my Dad? (((HUGS)))
Blessings,Ruth

Cheryl said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful and loving tribute to your brother. I so enjoyed the photos, especially of the little girl looking up to her big brother. Speaks volumes.
Take care and hugs to you.

Rambling Woods said...

Oh Betsy..I am so sorry. I know you wished that you lived closer so that you could visit more often. Going to sleep is a peaceful way to go. My sympathies to you and your family.. Michelle

marmee said...

betsy,

your heart is heavy but i will pray for you...i know you loved your brother and he will be greatly missed. you honour him with this very loving post...so glad he is in heaven with all your other family.
hugs to you dear betsy.

Gunny said...

Betsy - I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Please take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Jane

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hello Betsy,

First let me say how sorry I am about your brothers passing. I know you will miss him so....even when we don't see our family members on a regular basis it means the world that they ARE there. Ray did live quite a long life though..I gather that he had a nice life. I'll be thinking of you over these next few days. Be strong and know that you have so many friends that love you.

Now...on to thanking you for keeping a check on me and my blood pressure issues...I know exactly what you mean about the Statin drugs and is the reason why 10 months ago I refused to start taking them. Thomas tried taking Lipitor about 3 years ago and within a week his muscles were hurting and he was weak..he quit immediately and has never tried again...I expect to hear my lab results on Monday and I will discuss at length and decide what I should do. My father has been taking Zocor for years without an issue so I keep thinking that maybe I can tolerate it?? I'll have to really pray about it I can tell you that much..it bothers me to take a drug that has hurt so many others.

For high triglycerides you can take Fish Oil to reduce that reading. I know mine are high so we'll see what the other numbers are. I'm super conservative with what drugs I will take. The docs really don't like patients like me because I don't just lie down and follow orders..hehehe..hey, I figure it's self care and you better do the research on your own before stepping off the cliff of the unknown, right? I think there is a new cholesterol drug that works in the digestive system but I may not be able to take that one either due to my IBS...it's hell to be falling apart at this young age!

Drop by when you can..oh, and no I didn't start PiNk Saturday...Beverly over at How Sweet the Sound started it well over a year ago...I've participated for 57 consecutive weeks though! I've met so many lovely ladies through the pink network.

Hugs to you,
Steph

Diane AZ said...

Betsy, so sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautiful, loving post you have put together in memory of your brother, Ray. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Betty said...

So sorry for your loss.That is a great a post in memory of you brother. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts for my sister.
~~ Hugs ~~

SmilingSally said...

Oh Betsy, how sad I am for you. Your brother is in Heaven, and that's the comfort at this time.

Mary said...

Betsy, you know you have the sympathy of all of us at this time. It is hard to lose people we love, but I always fall back on that old saying: "To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die". As long as we remember them, they aren't really dead and of course in reality they just blinked their eyes and woke up in a better place! We grieve while they sing with the angels. Your memories are wonderful and the photos. Most of my relatives are gone, too. Only my sisters and I and our families. All the generations above us are gone.

Snap said...

I'm so sorry for you loss, Betsy. You have so many wonderful memories of your big brother. Lucky you!

Lots of hugs and thoughts sent to you today.

(Grandson's name is Ray.)

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

(Have you ever read Adriana Trigiani's BIG STONE GAP series?)

HEATHER said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. I am saddened that our world has lost another World War II veteran, member of the Greatest Generation. If no one else says this, know that I am grateful for his service to our country. God Bless you and safe travels.

Vicki ~ FL said...

Betsy, I am so sorry to hear of your brother's passing. Hugs and prayers are sent to you and your family.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Dearest Betsy and George, so sad to just now read of your brother Ray passing.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.
Hugs,

Jo

Rosa said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how hard it is losing a brother. Hugs my friend.

Jayne said...

Oh Betsy... I am so sorry for the loss of Ray. May light perpetual shine upon him, and may God's peace surround you with strength and love as you travel to say goodbye.

Mandy in Mayberry said...

So very sorry for your loss, Betsy. I will be praying for you.

LV said...

We are never ready to give up our loved ones no matter their age. I am sure your brother would have been excited if he knew you honored him in such a fashion. Time is a wonderful healer.

Dorothy said...

I so agree with you that telling those you love is so important and you surely can see the love in your wonderful photos.

Blessings and thanks for visiting our site you looked like Shirley Temple in the picture looking up to your brother.

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Kim said...

I am so sorry for your loss Betsy. Wonderful photos and great pictures of your beloved brother. Hugs.

Nina P. said...

Blessings to you during this time of reflection. May tears give way to Joy's of memories shared, hands held, games played, Love spoken, time together, of hopes and dreams...Even the darkness of death can't keep the Light from shining. It is through Faith and the Promise and Grace of Eternal Love that guide us into the Light of the Glory land. This world is temporal, but we will meet again in Eternity. Peace and Love pour out to you and your family today and always.
May God Bless and keep you, May he shed his Light upon you and grant you His Peace.
Love and Light, Nina P

GeneaDiva said...

Betsy,

I'm sorry for the loss of your brother. Lifting you will in Prayer.

Nance said...

Betsy, sorry to hear of your loss but as you stated, Ray is now with the rest of your loved ones.
What a nice tribute to your brother, sharing us your happy memories and photos, they are all lovely!

Little Lovables said...

so sorry to hear the loss of your sweet brother. he sounds like he lived a wonderful life! how joyful he must be to be with his wife and family right now :)

Diane said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Betsy. What a rich and happy life you two had. He was older than you and he was your hero and you were his precious little sister. How great is that?!

JKoenig said...

I will pray for you....It is never easy to say "goodby" to a brother even if it is "just for now." I'm glad you were able to spend some time with him in August.

By the way, if he was born in 1912, doesn't that make him 96? It probably wouldn't have caught my eye, except that my dad was born in 1912 and is now 97 years old.

God be with you.....Janice

Jackie said...

Betsy,

So sorry to hear about the loss of your dear brother. I'll be praying for you. And you're right, he is in a MUCH better place with the rest of your family.

Jackie

Janie said...

I'm so sorry to hear your older brother has passed away. At least you did have a nice visit with him in August. Such a cute photo of you as a little girl looking up to him. I hope you can feel comforted that he will be joining loved ones in heaven.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Betsy, I'm very sorry to hear about your brother. He was one of the lucky ones, to live so long (and have such a great sister.) That's a lot of water under the bridge, and lots of memories. All my condolences, Bob

Bill S. said...

Sorry for your lose. Hugs.
Bill

Sunny said...

Betsy,
My heart goes out to you at this sad time. I'm so sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts.
Hugs to you.
Sunny

Iphigenia said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. my thoughts are with you!!!

diane said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you. You have written a nice tribute to your big brother, the old photos are a wonderful keepsake for you.

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

Dearest Betsy, my heart goes out to you in your sadness. I know how much you loved your brother. Rest assured he is not suffering from any pain or anything else now. God Bless you honey. You are a real trouper, and God rewards those who love him. You are so right about telling those you love...everyday, that you love them. It's so important. As you and others have stated, you never know when you might lose a loved one. I call my daddy everyday, or go see him. I keep in touch with my 4 kids and grandkids as well.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I read your entire post and looked at all of the photos. I am sorry for the loss of your brother. Please accept our condolences.

Carla said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Regina said...

My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy. We know he is happy now in the hands of our Lord.
My thoughts are with you Betsy.
Take care.
Regina

ModernMom said...

I am so sorry for your loss...

Kirigalpoththa said...

So sorry to hear that your brother has passed away! I remember the post you did on your last visit in Aug.

This is a very nice tribute for him..

Snowbird said...

So sorry for the loss of your brother. It is very hard to lose someone so close but it does seem that he is in a better place now.

Splendid Little Stars said...

I am feeling sad with you. What a wonderful post (including the linked one). I love looking at old photos and I especially love the one of you with your older brother kneeling down to your level. I can see from your photos and words that you have a very special family.
(PS I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, not far from Rockville and my parents are of approximately the same generation as Ray.)

mountain.mama said...

I"m sorry as well for your loss but I also know you were a great sister too!

Lola said...

Dearest Betsy, May the Lord comfort you in your time of need. I know it hurts to loose one so close but he is truly in a better place than we.
I lost my older brother & it seems he is with me every day.
I'm so glad George is by your side to give you comfort & support.
We'll see you later.

Mother Nature said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Betsy.
Donna

Susie said...

Betsy I just now read this news. I'm really sorry to hear about Ray. I'll be keeping you in my prayers my friend.

Hugs to you,

Susie

Patty said...

BestsI am so sorry to hear of your brother passing. I know your heart is hurting tonight. You are in my thoughts and prayers

bookbabie said...

Wonderful tribute to your brother Betsy, hugs:)

Shelley said...

Seeing that last photo of you kissing your brother brought tears to my eyes Betsy! I am so sorry to hear about your brother and will keep your family in our prayers.
Big hugs, love and prayers,
Shelley

Becky said...

I am sorry for your loss.
((hugs))to you.
I have been in Tn. and you were on my mind.

Marge said...

Oh Betsy - I am so sorry for your loss. I know you will treasure your last visit with your big brother as well as his memories. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Love,
Marge

Libby Murphy said...

The photograph of that little girl looking up adoringly at her big brother says it all. I pray that the good Lord comforts you all through this rough part of life's journey. Godspeed Raymond E. Banks.

Tins and Treasures said...

Betsy,
I can see that you had a special relationship with your big brother. This was such a special post about him. Take care ~Natalie

Ebie said...

Hi Betsy, my sincere and heartfelt condolence about his passing. Very endearing post about him. Take care.

Thistlebrooms said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us...I too believe in letting loved ones know how I feel while were still on this Earth...(usually each day)

I'm sorry for your loss Betsy, it's Always wonderful to have a Big brother to look up to (in more ways than one)
Thinking of You...Marilyn

Darla said...

Many thoughts and prayers Betsy...

Connie said...

Betsy I'm so sorry to hear about your brother Ray. Your post is a wonderful tribute to a brother surounded by so much love.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Betsy, I'm sorry to hear your brother passed away. It's nice to remember him in this post.
Marnie

Judy said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. This is a wonderful tribute to your brother and I enjoyed the photos very much.

Denise said...

Loving thoughts and prayers Betsy. This is a warm and loving tribute to your dear brother. I am so sorry for your loss.

Becca's Dirt said...

Betsy I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. The last photo of you kissing your brother is so special.

Tricia said...

GOD Bless you, Mr Banks, and also to you, Betsy. I'm sorry for your loss & my prayers are certainly w/ you.

BTW - My favorite pic is the last one - That's sooooooo sweeeeeet!

Blessed Be!

Sandy said...

Betsy, so sorry to hear about your brother. I too am a New Year's Eve baby. It's so wonderful that you were able to have him in your life for so many years.

thompsonjud said...

Betsy -
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Judith & Rod

Mar said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear brother. Losing loved ones is the toughest thing we go through in life. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It is so nice that you had that special time with him in August. Hold on to those memories.

Pam said...

I am so sorry for your lost, Betsy.
Your post is a wonderful way to share your memories ...

Leedra said...

I came to find this post, because in your email to me you said it would be here. As I said in my email back my prayers are with you during this time. The first photo of your brother looks so much like you. I am sure you will miss him.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Our prayers are with you Betsy and George...

Carletta said...

Dear Betsy,
I saw your comment on Rose's blog and came to tell you how sorry I am for your loss.
May your wonderful memories of your brother help sustain you in this time of grief.
Thoughts and prayers,
Carletta

Kelly said...

...Betsy....I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad your faith is so strong and will carry you through. Such a lovely memorial post....you are so special.

Tina said...

Betsy,
So sorry for your loss. Let those ole big brother memories keep you smiling tho, we all have those memories of how they teased us when we were younger.. :)
It was great to made time to visit him back in August. He sounded like the perfect brother...but then you sound like you were the perfect sis!
Take care...time will help!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I cannot thank ALL of you enough for your kind words following Ray's death. You ALL mean so very much to me and I appreciate you more than life itself.

Love to ALL,
Betsy

GrandmaKathleen said...

Betsy,
I have been away from blogging for awhile and need to catch up with my friends. I am so sorry to hear about the death of your older brother, Raymond, but what a most beautiful tribute to Ray you have posted. The vintage photos are sensational.
You have some great photos to remind you of those memories you created that you never want to forget.
My prayers are with you and George and the remaining members of your family.
Life is so difficult when we lose a dear loved one, may each day be a little more soothing for you knowing you are loved by many friends who are praying for you during this time of grief.
Hugs, Kathleen

Cookie said...

Oh so sweet. THis made me cry. I always wanted a big brother. So sorry for your loss.
Oh, and I went to Virginia Tech too!

Sunny said...

Oh dear Betsy ... I'm so sorry for your loss. Yes, your brother is resting Peacefully ....God be with him.

Also sorry for not getting here sooner...have been going through some struggles...(which I did'nt write about in here)

Sending ((warm friend hugs)) to you.....

love you, from Sunny