J.T. Wilson
2-11-43 to 1-25-97

Saying Goodbye

As I gaze into your pale blue eyes
I know I will never again feast
Upon the bounty of their azure seas. . .

I try to be strong
Not to let you see the weakness and the tears
And yet they come.

I call just to say hi.
And dread the day the phone will ring. . .
And wonder if you know how much I love. . .

So little time with so much left undone.
I've tried to take care of things,
And pray that I've not forgotten a one.

Were I could I would give mine for yours.
But He doesn't take trade-ins. . .
That's not His way.

As great as my pain
I can't fathom how much more is yours.

The tears flow like rivers swollen by a winter's flood,
Yet their salt cannot cleanse
the grief I feel in my heart.

The sun begins to set
As He holds you gently in His loving arms.
The phone rings. I cry.
I come to say my final Goodbye.

Your loving sister,


The Growing Season 2001 Editor's Choice Award

J.T. lost his life to colon cancer on January 25, 1997. The most tragic part of it is, if colon cancer is caught in time it can be cured. But J.T. didn't feel he could afford to take the time off from work, he was strapped with excessive child support. When J.T. was ill, he had no income and when he would return to work, the courts would take all of his earnings to pay the child support he missed. He never shirked his financial responsibilities. When J.T. was diagnosed with colon cancer, his ex-wife called him. She wanted to know if he died would she get his insurence. He had no insurence. He quit taking chemo-therapy because he couldn't afford to miss work. He owed too much child support. One time after he was off work due to a back injury he returned to work, after two weeks of sixty plus hours a week, he received his first paycheck. It was $27.00 and change. He had to borrow money for gas and truck repairs. You see, J.T. was a truck driver and had to pay for repairs and gas out of his own pocket. But that never mattered to his ex-wife.

Not only did J.T. pay child support, and spousal support, he bought most of his children's clothes, gave his ex-wife all the stocks he owned, (for the kids), made some of her mortgage payments, and paid back taxes. The back taxes were owed because her tax preparer neglected to deduct their children. A mistake I found going through his papers after he died.

J.T. gave his ex-wife the house, he bought before they were married. He said he wanted his children to have a nice home. He gave her the car, part of his retirement, the money they had in the bank, and just about everything he owned. Jackie was never satisfied with what J.T. gave her. She took him back to court and said the money he gave her was a gift. Because the money did not go through the court, he had to pay her more money. Then the court started taking the money out of his paycheck. J.T. continued to pay child support for both of his children three years after his son came to live with him. Although Jackie was quite capable of finding a good paying job, she prefered to work for minnimal wages. She has never persued anything more and has refused to further her education, even though she was going to college when she lived with her parents.

Finally, Jackie remarried. It was not until J.T. took her back to court to eliminate the spousal support that his child support for his son ceased. Even though they each had physical custody of one child, he was ordered to pay $611.00 per month for his daughter, she was ordered to pay $45.00 per month for his son. Quite a disparity. And now that he is gone, well Jackie is filing a claim against his "estate". She even tried to file for his death benifits from Social Security, claiming her name was still Jackie Wilson and that they were still married. She told the Social Security worker that he was never married to Corina.

As far as Corina is concerned. She is trying to deal with the loss of her beloved husbond, all the legal problems Jackie has created and the loss of her son Jacob. Please read
Jacob's Story.

Women have asked for equall rights. In a day and age when we can decide when and if to have children, it's time, we, women take more of the financial responsibility for our children. Child support and spousal support equate to nothing more than sanctioned welfare. Step-parents have no legal rights after the death of the birth-parent. Children are being taken out of loving homes because of nothing more than genetics. The laws must be changed. Perhaps we can work together to change these antiquated, and immoral laws, before someone you loves dies.

There are so many things I want to tell you about my brother, about the courage the man had. He went to Viet Nam, and didnít tell his family, because he didnít want us to worry. He got lucky, and made it out alive, after a short tour when he got a skin infection and the Army sent him to Germany.

He drove truck for twenty-seven years. In those twenty-seven years, he stopped at all accidents to render help. At Thanksgiving, when I was returning home, I knew his time was short. I stopped to walk my dog, and started talking to a lady truck driver. I told her that my brother was a truck driver, but he was dying of cancer. When I told her his name, she said he pulled her out of an accident in which every bone, in her body, except for two was broken. She said her blue jeans were red from the blood. J.T. held her and stayed with her, comforting her, until the paramedics arrived. He told her "Youíre not going to die on me." He went to visit her when she was in the hospital. Her handle was Jellybean. She sent him a message and when I asked him if he remembered her he said "No. Iíve pulled so many people out of accidents". That was the kind of man my brother was. He once told me of a $28.00 911 cellular phone call where he stayed on the phone waiting for paramedics. He said it didnít matter because otherwise the people would have died. He worried sometimes about the blood and contracting AIDS but even that didnít deter him from rendering first aid.

He survived many things. He was hit by a train in his eighteen wheeler. He was catapulted thirty feet when a chain let go, and the tie-down bar flung him from his truck. He survived melanoma, and asked that God give him ten more years, so he could see that his children could grow up. He survived the colon cancer three and a half years. In those ways he led a charmed life. Yet in so many ways he was deprived. He was three months old when his father died. His stepfather, my father was an abusive man, who hated him. We lived in poverty. He was never given an opportunity to enjoy growing up, learning to play a musical instrument, or an education. They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste. He had an I.Q. of 165. I say a life is a terrible thing to waste.

He never knew happiness until he met Corina. She never knew happiness until she met J.T. When he was dying she took care of him. She was there in the nights when the pain got unbarable. She bathed him and changed his colostomy bag. They laughed together, and they cried together. And in the end he told her "Turn on the light Baby, I want to see where I am going". He kissed her, he told her he loved her, asked for his "barf bucket", (in the end he was sick all the time), then he told her "Iíve got to rest now", and simply went to his ever lasting sleep. He was going to be baptized that day, but instead he was taken into the loving arms of Jesus. To suffer no more. To watch over those of us who love him.

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Self Portrait
My brother's family
Corina Wilson Jacob Wilson Jessica Wilson JT Wilson

Artwork by Coyote
Popa Dave Montano