Skip, I Will Love You...

As long as I can dream,
As long as I can think,
As long as I have a memory,
I will love you.

As long as I have eyes to see,
And ears to hear,
And lips to speak...
I will love you.

As long as I have a heart to feel,
A soul stirring inside me,
An imagination to hold you...
I will love you.

As long as there is a time,
As long as there is a love
As long as I have breath to speak your name
I will love you!

In Memory of Skip

Once upon a time, many years ago...

There was a boy named, Skip, who lived with his three older sisters, Dorothy, Pat and Peggy. They loved each other deeply, and had determined hearts to defend each other, even unto death. Their mother, Ellen, had to work outside her home to help pay for their needs. Because Ellen worked long hours, she expected Dorothy (who was the oldest) to keep an eye on Pat, Peggy, and Skip. Now, Dorothy hated to be made responsible for her siblings, but Ellen believed her capable and expected her to keep watch over them.

Being accountable for her sisters didn't bother Dorothy, but she bemoaned the responsibility of looking after Skip because he was such a problem. He felt the same way and created havoc as often as he could to make Dorothy angry. When Skip created a problem, Pat always stood firmly on Dorothy's side against him. Peggy, on the other hand, often took Skip's part against Dorothy and Pat. In spite of their differences, the four matured into young adults with hearts full of devotion for each other. In the process of his development into a young man, Skip cultivated a fierce loyalty toward all his sisters. As the years flew by, the little family grew and changed without an inkling of the tragedies their future held...

When Dorothy turned 16, she married a young man who proved to be abusive. One night, after only three months of marriage, her husband beat her and dropped her off at her parentís home. The next morning, after a painfully fitful nightís sleep, Dorothy awoke to find Skip standing over her bed. His young fists were clenched tight and tears of anger were in his eyes.

"As long as I live," Skip gritted his teeth, "no man will ever mistreat you again!"

Through the years, Skip lived up to his promise many times. When they suffered the tragic murder of their mother (by their abusive father), Skip became even more determined that his sisters would not be mistreated. He grew into a young man who championed the rights of all women, and stood firmly on the side of anyone he believed was oppressed.

Skip became a friend with a young man named, Doran McEntire. He thought so highly of Doran that he wanted Dorothy to meet him. He was pleased when Doran and Dorothy started dating and overjoyed when they married. Doran went to work overseas for an oil company and had to be away from home a lot. When Doran was gone, Skip would try to make up for the unavoidable paternal negligence. He became like a son to Dorothy, and their bond of devotion that had begun in childhood, emerged into fierce allegiance. Skip became protective of Dorothy's discipline with her children and would not tolerate any mutiny on their part. On the other hand, he was the family jokester and encouraged the boys to play pranks on himself and each other. Even when Skip moved to his own home, and lived several hundred miles away, he still kept a close tab on Dorothy and the children.

Doran's cousin, Sandi, lived close to them and she had a relationship with a man who was very abusive. Once, when Doran was working away from home, Sandi's boyfriend attacked her and she ran to Dorothy's home for protection. Sandi's boyfriend was in close pursuit and started pounding on the door, yelling to be let in. The police were called but to no avail, because they only talked with the abuser and then left. Time and again, the culprit returned pounding on the door and demanding to be let in. Every time she heard him banging on the door, Dorothy called the police, but he would be gone by the time they arrived. The police said they had to catch him in the act before they could arrest him (this was before the laws were changed). Finally, in desperation, Dorothy called Skip (who was over 300 miles away). But in the few seconds it took for him to answer the phone, she changed her mind about telling him. They spoke of other things, then said goodbye. Throughout the night, the man continued to harass Dorothy and Sandi with verbal abuse and violent banging on the door.

Then, just before sunup, Dorothy heard a different type of knocking at her door. When she looked out the window to see if it was the batterer, there was Skip standing at the door.

"What's wrong?" He asked when she opened the door.
"How did you know something was wrong?" She inquired as Skip stepped inside and gave her a big hug.

"I didn't know for sure. I just sensed it from the tone of your voice," he answered with his schoolboy grin. "I knew you were worrying about something and didn't want to tell me, so I decided to just show up unannounced. I parked my car down the block so no one would know I was here."

Just after explaining the situation to Skip, the culprit started pounding on the door again. Skip jerked open the door and quickly took charge of the situation. For fear of his life, the man not only left the immediate vicinity,
he left the state!

There are many examples I could relate to you, portraying the type of person Skip was inside, but this last example is by far the best.

Skip became acquainted with a man (Levi Hull) who handed him a sob story and asked for a loan (just for a month, he said). Several times Skip complained to Dorothy that Hull had refused to pay him the loan back (it was several hundred dollars). In the process of trying to collect the money, Skip found out about a young girl Hull was keeping strung out on dope. Hull kept the girl at his apartment and sold time with her to other men. When Skip found out how young the girl was, he made a bargain with Hull to see her. When Hull let Skip into his apartment, Skip grabbed the girl and ran with her. She was a 19-year-old run-away, so Skip called her parents and bought her a plane ticket home.

This heroic deed cost Skip his life. Not long after he had helped the girl escape, Hull found Skip and shot him to death. At first, the police thought there was dope involved because Hull was a known dealer. But later, thank God, the truth came out. Hull was sentenced to seven years for taking Skip's life. Obviously, Skip's life wasn't worth much to the state (except as a bargaining tool for them to use to get information from Hull).

Justice is an elusive dream for most of us... However, I must quickly add that when I sin, I cry for mercy.

Then, when someone sins against me, I demand justice!

So, here's my prayer for those unsung heroes that lose their lives for the sake of others. May God (who sees all and never forgets) grant His tender mercy to their loved ones and enable them to cope with the deep pain of loss.
I know this is what those reluctant heroes would want...

Dorothy Caywood/McEntire