Friday, December 30, 2005

The string of taillights stretching ahead

. . . of me along the curving roads seemed endless. Somewhere at its front was the hearse. Except for when it pulled out of the church's parking lot I never saw it again until I parked at the cemetery.

The stream of headlights behind me was just a long as the taillights in front.

Last week was bad. This one wasn't any easier. To be honest, this one was worse.

No road rage this time. "Terry," who'd been part of my family's life for over 20 years starting when he was 16, just didn't wake up Christmas morning. He was one of Da Kid's two self-designated neighborhood "big brothers."

And big Terry was: 6 feet 6 and 350 or so pounds even back then.

Funny sight, this huge man-boy and the much younger AND SMALLER blond-haired kid standing there side by side.

When Da Kid was struggling in grade school, Terry used to sit at the table helping him with his homework. In actuality -- but I wasn't supposed to know it -- Da Kid was helping Terry learn to read.

On and on the stories go.

When I broke the ball joint in my shoulder, Terry was the first one here and the first one I saw (He was kinda hard to miss.) when I came out with my arm strapped to my side. Which is where it was for the next eight weeks, by the way.

"Ewwwww! You need me to feed you or something?"

"Shaddap, Terry. I've never tried to eat with my left hand before."

A few year's later Hubby's replacing part of the roof that had started to leak, and the only person who came over to help was Terry. Hubby says to Terry, "Don't step there. It looks weak." Next thing I know, one of Terry's legs is dangling down through the living room ceiling.

Da Kid graduates from middle school and had been accepted to one of the best private high schools in the area. To celebrate Terry, who was now driving 18-wheelers, took Da Kid on an instate, 24-hour-run with him. He brought Da Kid home a BIT wired.

"Terry said I could go to sleep in the back of the cab and it's got a bed back there and everything but I wouldn't so when we stopped I drank coffee with the other truckers just like they all do and had doughnuts for breakfast and coffee and for lunch I had coffee and candy bars and coffee and . . . "


He fled.

And the stories go on and on.

Da Kid very quitely broke during today's church services. He was managing until the pastor told another "Terry Story" of his that gave everyone a chance to laugh. We all have them. But in something like this there's a shell that's easily cracked. Laughter becomes tears.

Hubby was okay at the service, but it was close at the cemetery.

And now if you'll all excuse me, I think I'm just gonna have myself a damned good cry.


Blogger ABFreedom said...

Sorry for your lose ... may he rest in peace and his great memories prevail.

12:54 PM  
Blogger pamibe said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Friends are family we choose, so Terry was -and is- your family.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

So sorry to hear about this. keeping y'all in my prayers.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. We all have a Terry in our lives and they will be alive as long as we remember them. Your Terry will live forever.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Boy, do I have some catching up to do. Sorry, Doyle. I know how this feels as of yesterday.

10:56 AM  

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