All of my love to Carr, Carol, Ed, Scott, and Julia. Also to Mom, Grandma Breland, and our extended Breland and Smith families, and our friends, who are both here and in heaven. You are always in my prayers. Carr, Carol, Scott, and Julia, we're all with you in your sorrow and hope that you feel some comfort from our love and deepest sympathy. Some days I cry, other days I laugh remembering the hilarious things that Ed always said to me and all the practical jokes that he played on me. He gave me a better sense of humor. He was almost always sweet to me which is pretty good for a “little brother!” I was always thrilled to see him. Today, I feel his smiling presence. I've always called my nieces and nephews “my kids,” because I never had a child until my 40's. I still call them “my kids,” even though they're not kids anymore and I now have one of my own, our Nick, who I want to share with you all. But Bug was the first baby I got to hold, my first “little brother.” It was great to have him around, waking me up early in the morning, giggling at my door, making me laugh before running and jumping on me. When I was a teenager, whenever I took Bug out, I always told people that he was my little brother because he was so cute! I loved showing him off. We went to my high school Saturday afternoon touch football games and then to the ice cream shop that Aunt Debby had always taken me to. He was always smiling and making me laugh. After seven more nieces and nephews, by the time I had a baby, I was grateful to be somewhat prepared. My Nick often reminds me of Bug, Scott, and Julia as well. When I was a teenager, Bug was about 6 and would hide my stuff whenever I was getting ready to go out. Once, I was frantic to find my brand new skirt. I couldn't imagine where I had put it. I heard giggling in my closet and then I knew! I opened it and found the little guy in there wearing my clothes! looking ridiculous and laughing hysterically! It was so hilarious that I fell down laughing until I couldn't breathe. When Ed was in college, he came to Birmingham and my beautiful younger friend, Kim, said he was the cutest boy she had ever seen. Later, when he was still in college, we all met in Mobile…so Aunt Kathleen, Ed, and I went out to play a game of pool. When it was my turn to hit the ball, he said loudly, “Aunt Kathleen, you're the coolest and my favorite.” I'm sure I laughed and missed the ball. And then when it was his turn to hit the ball, he said, “Maria, you're really my favorite.” He made me laugh so much that I lost the game after I was sure I would win. I am truly blessed to have had Bug in my life. Not only was he a fun little brother who I loved, but he also brought into my life more family: Carol, Scott, Julia, Grandma Breland, and all of the wonderful Breland family who I would have never have had the privilege to meet if it hadn't been for Bug. Of course, life has been difficult at times, but I'm grateful for Bug and the loving people in my life, even those that are away for now through distance or passing--I see the glass as half full. Ed was so handsome and funny and fun, and always will be that way in my mind and heart until we all meet again. He is still with me, still making me laugh every time I think of him, and I know he's with you. Many aspects of this world are lovely, but I have an absolute faith and constant feeling that we do go to an even better realm that is completely one with God and pure love. I am not afraid. I felt the Holy Spirit with us at the mass, for I have never before in my whole life been able to sing one note in front of other people, except for my teacher and my husband, due to life-long stage fright. Even my husband, David, who has years of experience performing, gets nervous playing in church. That day, we both felt a calming loving presence that we had never felt before. We just wanted to provide some comfort and make a joyful noise to celebrate Ed's life and dedicate a youthful sound to Ed who I know was there. Love to you all. We'll be here for all of you.