My Nephew was a free spirit.  Never married, never tied down to anything.  Drank too much, partied too hard, had way too much fun.  He loved life, and he loved his family.  He had very simple values and very simple ways.  He was probably too self-centered (aren’t we all), did things mostly that pleased himself.  Attacked everything in life with a personal veracity that left him challenged to conquer something new. But deep down inside he loved everyone, and would do anything for anyone.  In fact, although his heart was incredibly diseased for a young man of 32, and the doctors said he was a short timer anyway, the day he died he stopped on the side of the road in the middle of a rain storm and pushed a total strangers car out of a muddy ditch.  As this stranger pulled away thankful for the assistance, my nephew clutched his chest and fell over dead in the street beside his own truck.  The strain of pushing the car had pushed his weak heart over the edge.  He never regained consciousness.  He died in the street, in the mud.

At his funeral, his younger brother commemorated his life by playing “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Although we all knew this song for years before that day.  We knew when we heard it that day that it would forever be personal, that it would forever be about Dwight.  And now, years later, every time the song is played it brings a silence to the room, and tears to eyes that still care for and miss our nephew, cousin, son, brother and friend. 

Simple Man

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.

Take your time… don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Wont you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich mans gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Wont you do this for me son,
If you can?

Boy, don’t you worry… you’ll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Wont you do this for me son,
If you can?

Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zandt as performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
 
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