Terry left us a year ago, but he will never leave my heart. My Cousin Terry was more than just an Army hero, Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient from the Vietnam War, he was my personal hero.
Terry saved my life by catching me when I fell out of the ole apple tree in my Aunt Susie's front yard when I was eleven years old. Just before he left for Vietnam, he came home to visit my Aunt Susie, his maternal grandmother, “Mother” as she was called instead of Grandmother. We were sitting on the porch swing and Terry noticed a big red apple at the top of the ole apple tree and said, “I bet you can't get to that big red apple at the top!” and of course that is all he had to say because he knew I would do just about anything for him. Terry would joke and kid with me and ride me on the ‘scooter' whenever he came to visit.
So off I went, climbing all the way to the top and snatched that big ole apple, only to find that it was beginning to rot at the top. I threw the apple down to Terry and on my decent, I stepped on a limb that broke and I began to fall, scrapping my body as I fell through the tree limbs and then suddenly there was Terry! He had caught me with both arms holding me tight with tears flowing down his cheeks. “I've got you Idona, I won't let you fall!”
As I held onto Terry's neck and then looked back at the tree and just where I would have landed was a plow with tiller blades that would have impaled my body had Terry not reached out and caught me. Yes, I owe my life to my dear sweet cousin, Terry Gene Burns.