Yesterday, we said goodbye to the physical form of you. You would have been proud to see the number of people who came to show their love and respects for you. There was plenty of laughter and tears, but you would have approved of the balance of both. People walked in and made your mother and Jimmy aware of their sentiments and kind words.
We all gathered into the chapel and took our seats. We sat on that awkward left side as you should remember our talks about attending church and always sitting on the right. Viki, Travis, Harrison, Jonathan, his girlfriend, and I sat on the bench as your Uncle Corley presided over the service. All your friends were there that wanted to attend: Kimberly, Dale, Sarah, Mark & Mike, Janna, Sandy, John, and his boyfriend, Richard and his boyfriend…just to name a few. We listened to a song by Wynonna called “You Were Loved.”
Your old friend, I can’t remember her name but remember that it was the one who lost all the weight and you temporarily dated, stood before the crowd and spoke about how much you meant to her and what an impact you made on her life. After she stepped off stage, I offered to say a few words for you.
I spoke of how brutally honest you were and how much we brought each other back to center point. I spoke of how that not only you were my brother in life, you were also my sister. I recalled that wonderful day while at The River’s Edge, you came running across the grassy yard screaming “Mamma! Mamma!” and ran into me, almost knocking me down to give me a hug. Of course, I didn’t say you were drunk off your ass…I just said it was one of your more colorful times.
After the service, John and his boyfriend, Kimberly, Travis, Harrison, Viki, and I went to Applebees, sat at the bar, and all had a drink in memory of you. I had beer, even though I know you hated it. Kimberly and the guys had your favorite Long Islands. No matter what drink we had, we raised our glasses, including the bartender who raised the glass bought for you.
So, as you can guess, we might have said goodbye to your physical form, we said hello to you spiritually. We know that you are standing somewhere, buying a pack of cigarettes or getting a bottle of Long Island Ice Tea, running late, as usual, to get to your angelic choir practice. I can see you doing a solo of some Janet Jackson song…probably “Let’s Stay A While”.
Just know that while you’re singing that, I’ll be singing along with “I Miss You Much”.
I’m fighting back tears as I type this, both tears of sadness and of happiness. You’ve been taken from our lives way too soon, but you’re at rest from the hell you faced near the end. Goodbye my dear friend and brother.