I have had several people ask me to write more about Mackintyre and the things he did and how he thought.
Mackie was very different than our other two children. From the time he was born until he died, he continued to be the child who did different things and said the most unusual things for his age. For the most part he was fun, loving, hard working and never met a challenge he couldn't beat. The more of a challenge, the better. Of course, as any child or adult, he had his moments. He was very outspoken, hard headed, uncompromising at times. He was a child with a direction and for the most part did not deviate from the direction he was heading. He had an unusual amount of common sense for a child his age. Conversations were always interesting with Mack. He talked more like an adult than a child. He was more interested in adult things than kid things. We spent a lot of time talking in the car when we were going places about everything from the silly things teenagers do these days to politics and religion. His input always left me with a different view to consider. We talked a lot about the way the world is heading and the tough times ahead. We talked about family and friends. From the time he was very small he always wanted to see how things worked. Take it apart and put it back together again. Fix it or explain why it couldn't be fixed. Very seldom did he have screws left over like I usually do. Mack was good at surprises. Coming home to a VCR in pieces, a pile of door knobs in the middle of the living room floor, batteries switched out in cars, the house re-arranged, new pictures in frames and electricity, satalite TV and phone lines to his cabin are only a few of the years of surprises. Everything was usually put back together in time and done safely. There was usually an interesting reason for whatever it was. Mack was very devoted to his sister Taylor and spending time with her. Always patient and loving, her house was his second home. He never stayed overnight with anyone except Taylor or grandpa. He didn't like to be away from his family so when ever he went somewhere he was usually home by dark. We did try camp this summer. We thought that since several of his friends were going to it would be good for him. He wanted to go so we let him. Glen and I made a bet leaving the camp that day if he would get them to call us, head out walking home or heist the keys to a car and drive home. None of the above happened but when I opened his suitcase the first thing I saw was his notebook with the following written "Note to self, never go to camp again." He made us promise that even if he lost his mind and asked to go again, not to let him. Mack was very devoted to church. He would pass up about anything to go with Grandpa and mow the grass at the church or spread mulch. He would go with me to prepare flowers for the alter on Sundays. It didn't matter what was going on at the church, he wanted to go. Mack had one of the best summers ever this last year riding in the parades and campaigning for Leonard Eads. He told me when is was over that he had so much fun he thought he might run for Sheriff in the next election. He was with Grandpa every chance he got. He made a thousand trips a month up and down the road ditch on his four wheeler, scooter, bike or walking to his house. He called him every night before bed when he wasn't spending the night there. He would spend hours following my dad around in the hayfield and at the sawmill. The had some pretty intense conversations too. They were in the middle of restoring a 1964 Chevy truck and my dad had given Mack an 8N ford tractor last year. His plans were to stay on this farm for the rest of his life just like Grandpa. He was proud of his Grandpa. He was proud in the way that at 9 years old, he recognized the hard work and countless hours of labor it took to farm for the last 45 years. He was proud of all the things on the farm. From the trees and creeks to the old broke down sheds and equipment to the newer tractors and sawmill. He wished every day that he was bigger so he could be more help to Grandpa. Mack always took pride in helping solve problems and fix things for him. He liked to latch onto some of Blakes things now and then. Most were usually recovered from under his bed once they were noticed missing. Mack and Glen would spend evenings sitting by the fire talking and teasing each other. They spent lots of nights in the camper camping in the driveway. I miss my hugs and kisses and I love you's terribly. I miss the little one sneaking in the bed beside me early in the morning. We left at the same time each morning and we drove in the driveway together each night. He on his fourwheeler and me in the car. Cell phones enabled us to have perfect timing. He would wait in the driveway at Grandmas until he saw me top the hill at the neighbors. We would talk about the day past and the day coming. He harldy talked about his school work but he talked about the kids on the bus and the kids at school. Then he would ask to go visit the neighbors to make sure they were doing ok. He would go to meetings with me. Always well behaved and respectful while we were there and then give his input in the car on the way home. He would spring ideas and suggestions as if he were an adult. I miss my sounding board and my other insight. Mack saw a need to be concerned about people. I suppose that was one of the driving forces behind building a church. I can truly say that he was one of the people who "got it" while sitting in church on Sundays. He listened, he understood and he went on a mission. A mission to spread the word and work for God. He got the message with little effort and he felt passionately about it. He felt strongly about carrying the message and sharing it. I wonder many times a day, could we all be so fortunate to open our hearts and minds to "get it" like he did. What if we all took the word of God as serious as he did and set forth on a mission to do the amazing things that Mack wanted to do? What kind of place would our world be then?
Mackintyre was about 7 years old when one of our friends, David Daniels was terminally ill. We spent a lot of time checking in and sitting with David. Mack and David had a fondness for each other and talked about a lot of things that Dave like to talk about and Mack was interested in hearing. The morning Dave passed away, we got the phone call that he wasn't doing well. We immediately got in the car and headed that way. When we arrived, we went inside, had a few brief words with Dave and Mack went outside with some of the others that were there. I sat with Dave until one of his grandsons arrived and gave my chair over to Josh. Within minutes, Dave passed on. Filled with grief and sadness, I went outside and told Mack that Dave had died. As I stood there crying, Mack took my hand and said "It's OK mom, don't be sad. Dave is in heaven with Jesus now." I remember standing there looking at him in shock and grabbing him and giving him a big hug. What an amazing deliberate thought from such a small child. He had already processed the situation and come to reason with it. A few nights before Mack died, he gathered some of his most prize posessions and put them in his lock box. Among those things were the shell casings from the 21 gun salute at Daves funeral. They had been in my jewerly box since the funeral. Untouched, safe and there when Mack wanted them. It strikes me as odd that he would retreive them after all that time the week he would pass on to be with Jesus too. It was odd to me when it happened and I wondered about it at that moment. I just thought it was strange for some reason but I didn't question it with Mack. I knew he cherished them.
One of Mackintyre's most prized posessions was his 8N ford tractor that Grandpa Mac gave him last summer. Though it needed a little work on the motor and a fresh coat of paint, Mackie planned to have it running for the next Cannonball Parade. He contemplated over the exact paint colors and what tools it would take to fix it. He was eager to clean out a space in the overstuffed garage so he and his dad could begin work when winter came. Everyone who visited our house had to come and see or sit on his tractor. Many times when I would pull in the driveway, he would say "Mom, come here and look, I think I know how this comes off to fix it." He had definate plans for the things he would pull with his tractor when it was finished. He wanted to take it to the Antique Tractor Show in Lathrop when the restoration was complete. He worried that someone would say he was too little to be driving a tractor. I hoped he would have his dream come true because I remember the joy of driving this same tractor when I was his age. I remember how fun it was to and how big I thought I was driving this tractor around the farm. I suppose there are tractors in heaven for those who love them so much. Heaven is filled with the things we love most, so I guess Mackie has a fully restored 8N tractor there to drive as he pleases and no worries about someone saying he is too little. I'm quite certain there are grand parades for the finest of tractors and the fine farmers that spent their lives driving them.