by Jan Baughman
These are the words that Jan spoke at her brother's private memorial service on July 18, 2014. His obituary, photos, and guest book can be seen at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?pid=171783719. Gilles is Jan's husband. Carol is Jan's sister and Doug her oldest brother, married to Beth. Darla is Mark's wife, and Matt and Chris are his two sons.
(Swans - July 28, 2014) Gilles, Doug, and Beth aren't here today, but they send their love and they are with us in spirit.
I was thinking this morning about the last time I saw my dad before he died -- Carol and I were here in Houston together, and somewhere he knew he was saying goodbye and wanted to ask our forgiveness for a couple of things, one of which was for having neglected me while I was growing up, because so much of our life was centered around Mark's sports. I was so shocked and saddened that he had carried this guilt for so long, because having Mark for a big brother was like having a rock star in the family, and I idolized him long before he even became famous. Sure, we fought like brothers and sisters do, mostly him pounding on me, but what I really remember is all of the fun we had together, playing basketball or catch -- he taught me how to throw a perfect football pass and to catch a fastball, though once he hit me square in the mouth, which wasn't fun, especially with braces. He tried to teach me to shot put when I was in high school track, but that was a disaster... We did all sorts of art projects -- I remember the plaster of Paris phase when he put my right arm in a beautiful, full cast, perfectly sculpted around my hand and thumb and at the right 90-degree angle. Mother was livid and demanded that he cut it off immediately. I would have kept it on for 8 weeks if I had my way. There was the time we decided that Sam the pug would make a good hyena, so we painted spots all over him. We got in big trouble for that too, but the fun was always worth the punishment. When we made pancakes on the weekend, they weren't just ordinary pancakes. They were blue or green or red, and there was always a batch for Sam, which we would throw to him like Frisbees to see how many he could catch and eat. I think all of this was great training for him to become a father.
Whenever a new teacher in Jr. High or High School asked me if I was Mark Baughman's sister, I was so proud to say yes. His notoriety gave me a bit of confidence that as an awkward teen I lacked. I fell in love with each of his high school friends, and I'm pretty sure he told them that if they even looked at me there would be trouble, because none of them did, not even through college. I was crushed when he moved to Houston and left me as an only child, but when I was out of college and working, and Matt and Chris were little, I had the good fortune to spend a week to ten days here on business almost every month and we spent all the time together we could, establishing our lasting bond as adults. When mother and dad moved here, I would often sneak into town without telling them so I could just spend time with Mark and the boys. We knew what kind of trouble we could get in if caught, but like always, it was well worth it. In the last few years, as we faced the death of our parents, we grew even closer, which I wouldn't have thought possible.
I am so grateful to Mark for bringing Matt and Chris into my life -- you both turned into wonderful, amazing men. I cannot fill his very big shoes, but I will always be here for you. And Darla, Mark gave us another sister in you, and that will never change.
Oh, how I wish he were here for me right now.
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