It all happened so fast. I didn’t sleep that night. I had plans on skipping class and sleeping all day anyway. I can’t remember the exact time, but I just remember Quita (my sister) calling me crying saying momma wasn’t answering her phone. This wasn’t that unusual, because Quita was always sensitive when someone didn’t answer the phone. She still is. She always thinks the worse. Well, this time I guess was right, because, skipping a lot of details, my mother friend Carlos and my friend Danielle found her there. I’m glad that is wasn’t me, because they would’ve found two bodies! LOL When I called Carlos, he told me and I lost it. I don’t even remember. I just remember feeling my heart drop and it stayed there for like 3 months.
Skipping some more parts, I found myself in Nashville about 2 or 3 hours after the call. It all happened so fast. When I got home everybody was there. My grandmother, My granddaddy, my aunt deb, my Uncle Jeff, my uncle thad, my aunt Brenda. Pretty much everybody (and two random old ladies that nobody new!) LOL I really didn’t speak. I had nothing to say. I couldn’t even cry. I just wanted to see Quita, because in my mind, if I saw Quita, I would be fine. I went upstairs to my room. I wanted to be as far away from my mommas room (who’s room is downstairs) as possible. I couldn’t take it. The house still smelled like her and her cigarettes. I laid on my bed and couldn’t really do anything. I just laid there, hoping that I would hear Quita soon.
All types of thoughts were going through my mind. All the people I still had to tell. All the chicken I would have to eat! LOL All the people I would have to see and listen to the same old, blah-blah story over and over again. “If you need anything, let me know”, “She’s in a better place, now” , “She’s looking down on you”. You all know the routine. What a lot of people don’t know is that my mother’s passing was not the first, but for me, it was definitely the biggest and worst one. My father passed away when I was 5. I used to think I was 4 when he passed, but Quita corrects me everytime I mess up! (Thanks Quita!) Then, my sister Prudy passed when I was 11. So, I was pretty use to death, but each one stung worse than the other. I guess the older you get, the deeper it cuts.
When I finally heard Quita, I flipped out. I was super excited. When I finally saw her, she was crying. She was not okay what so ever. Either was I, but when it comes to death, I was always stronger than Quita. She knows this! We even talked about the day that mom would pass away. She said that I would have to make the plans all by myself, because she would be in the corner holding tissues crying! LOL But, when I saw her, I knew that I would have to protect her. To hold her and tell her that everything was going to be okay, even though I wasn’t sure myself. I had to be the brother. I had to be there for her, so I put my feelings on pause. I stopped crying, especially in front of people. If I did catch myself slipping, I would run to the bathroom and cry in secret. I didn’t want Quita to see me like that, especially since I was trying to comfort her.
We went through all the motions and things. Getting paperwork filled out, picking a casket, what she was going to wear, just everything basically. As the days went on, reality started to set in. She wasn’t just at work or on a women’s retreat with the church. She wasn’t at the corner store getting cigarettes , Ice, and a Dr. Pepper. She wasn’t at church. She wasn’t with Buck or Carlos. She was really gone. It almost seemed like it was all getting worse with time. Then, I realized that I was finally leaving that state of denial and becoming more in touch with reality. I just remember everything moving so fast, but so slow at the same time. It was a weird time. Especially, the visitation/viewing of the body day. I was out of it. I wasn’t thinking about myself. I had completely forgotten about me. All I could think about was the only one thing I had left – Quita. I knew she was doing worse than I was. I soon as we walked in, I could tell she was breaking. I swooped right in (Quita! Cleo! LOL)! I did everything I know she would’ve done for me if she could.
Then, the funeral. I don’t even remember the funeral. So, I can’t really say. I just remember that it went really fast. It wasn’t a long service, but there was lots of singing. I do remember that. There was also a lot of people. Some I knew, most I didn’t. I’m sure they missed my mother, though. You could just tell. When it was over, the walk back to limo was long. I didn’t want to do it. I held myself together the entire funeral. I was doing good. Being there for Quita, that was my job. When I lost Quita in the crowd, I knew she was back at the limo. So, I made my way in that direction. Everybody wanted to hug and cry and talk and give me the “after death speech”. I completely understood, but at the moment, I didn’t care. I wanted to be with my sister. That’s when I made to the limo and I see a sister from my church. She was an usher that always made me smile.
She was my favorite church member for a long time. I look at her and she grabs me and squeezes me. She holds me really tight. Not too tight that you’re uncomfortable, but just enough. I could feel the tears start to come to my eyes. She says, “It’s okay. You don’t have to be strong. You can cry!” I was breaking. I was crying so hard, but as soon as she let me go and I ducked into the limo and saw Quita, I broke. I was crying harder than I’ve ever cried in my life. What she said kept running through my head. I couldn’t stop crying. I fell into Quita. I was not okay. I finally got myself together enough to stop crying. I just sat there. That familiar feeling of nothingness swept over me again. All I could think about was making sure Quita was okay.
We make it to the burial site, and this is where I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make it. Seeing them lower her casket into the ground was an image I thought would do me in. Surprisingly, I made it through the whole thing without one single tear. I think I was too numb from the limo ride to really take everything in. My Pastor spoke, but I really don’t remember what he said. I really didn’t care. I just felt like nothing. I felt distant and cold. The only person I cared about was Quita (I know I’ve said this a lot, but you guys just don’t understand!). I said my final goodbyes to the woman who raised me with a single flower I was given to throw on top of her casket. It was like I threw half of myself with that flower.
Now, I’m doing so much better. That feeling of emptiness has gone away. I still miss my mother deeply and I will never be the same, but I really think I’m heading toward okay. Everyday I’m picking up speed. I get stronger every morning. I know that everything is going to be alright. I talk to Quita everyday and I feel like now we are even closer than ever. I love my sister with all of my heart and I know she has my back for anything and everything, likewise with me for her. This was a really hard post to type and I cried a couple of times, even though I left out a lot of details, but don’t cry for me. I’m doing okay. I’m surrounded by a loving, supporting family that will always be there for me. I’m in school living the dream. So, I know I have a lot more than a lot of people even still to this day. I’m sad that this happened when it did, but I would rather carry the pain of losing her and seeing her having to carry the pain of losing me or Quita. Thank you all for taking the time to read this! New Post will be up as soon as I come up with a new Idea! LOL
Love you all,