Tribute to My Cousin, Lamar Bynum

Lamar Bynum. As a relative he was my first cousin. In reality he was my brother. All throughout both of our lives…he was my best friend. As again cancer has claimed another relative of mine. Now all we can do is accept the facts and say, he will suffer no more and (like others before him that have suffered as well), Lamar has gone to a much better place.

For those of you that knew Lamar, I am sure there are many special moments that now enter your mind as you think of how glorious each day was that you had the pleasure of sharing his company. He was a very special person that always had a smile on his face accompanied by his cheerful laugh that would always make anyones day much better. For me its much more than that.

As first cousins we were close. We grew up together, played together, spent the night at each others house together and went to the same church. I can remember many things we did together, from when we were kids to present day. When we were young we watched cartoons on TV together. We experienced a lot of first things in life together. Like learning to ride a tricycle, skating, riding bicycles, riding go carts, riding motorcycles and flying kites together. We even worked together for 6 years at Mulga Coal mines.

” Memories, Thats what lifes all about as we share them with the ones we love. Remembering others as they pass on to those pearly gates above. ”

When we were young Lamar and I would hunt for birds, squirrels, dove and quail in the nearby woods. We always brought some game home for our Grandmother to clean and cook, most of which were always taken by Lamar. I never really was that good at hunting. I later found out why. My passion in life was fishing. Lamars was hunting. He was a skilled hunter.

As a young man he could shoot the toes off of a crow with a BB gun, before it even had chance to flinch. Later in life this hunter ambition grew and Lamar was soon known all throughout Alabama for his skills as an avid hunter. He would sit for hours all alone in a tree stand in the pouring down rain or the freezing cold, just for a shot with his trusty bow and arrow at a trophy Buck deer.

As Lamar grew up his passion for hunting was honed by his Father Jack Bynum and his Uncle Jimmy Franklin that always took him hunting as he learned his skills from these avid hunters. Now they can all three be together again and share their memories as we do today.

I got the word that Lamar was not expected to live much longer, he was on my mind even more so. The morning after I first heard this tragic news from my mother (Lamars Aunt Florence) I was headed out on a fishing trip to Logan Martin Lake, just east of Birmingham. Lamar was on my mind from the moment I woke up that day.

I believe in signs in life and one sign soon became clearly evident that morning on the way to the lake. There is an advertising agency that displays billboards throughout Alabama. They are called Lamar advertising. There along Interstate 20, going to Atlanta just as you leave the outskirts of Birmingham, was a huge billboard. It was as big as life itself, featuring white puffy clouds and a bright blue sky background. It was just to much. I almost had to pull the truck over.

In the middle of that huge billboard, spread out in big bold letters was the word, LAMAR. Added to this clearly evident sign was a small kid running and flying a rainbow colored kite. It was just like a kite Lamar had flown with me at one time when we were kids. Another sign? When I came in from fishing on Tuesday, August 15 2006 the day of Lamars passing on, I soon got word from my mother. I sat and grieved and thought back on my day. It had been a hot summer morning and fishing for bass was very slow. Thoughts of my dying cousin and life long brother were cluttering my mind all day. I really was not into fishing, it was just a day when I had to get away and be all alone. Alone except for the presence of Lamar which unknown to me would soon enter my boat.

At around 11:30 a.m. on that faithful morning it was getting to hot to fish. I was getting ready to head for home with little to show for my fishing efforts but a few small bass. The boat drifted downstream as I eventually saw one laying log right in the middle of the lake. One last cast with a topwater lure and the water exploded. It was a big bass, I soon landed it and then headed for home.

When I got home I found out Lamar at 55 years old, had passed on at 11:30 p.m. the night before.
He will be missed, may God bless Lamar Bynum and all his surviving friends and relatives.
” Some day my friend, we will be together to share our memories once again. “

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