Friday, April 6, 2012

Google Maps Let Me Down When I Already Was

Went to the visitation for a kid who grew up across the street from us and was killed for senseless reasons. It was held in the hometown of his parents so I googled the place with their "maps." You would think Google used the above photo to get me there. It took us well over a hour to get there and since we didn't really know where we were going we had to simply rely on "Big Brother" aka The Internet.

 Before leaving for the visitation I picked up a former neighbor who used to live two doors down but has since moved to "The Kuntry." She was riding shot gun and filling in as my GPS...that means she had glasses on and was reading the driving directions to me. Somehow we must have gotten on a truck route and had to finally stop at a gas station for help. The guy behind the counter looking like Apu from The Simpson's said "I am not from around here (No Duh) let me ask someone else."

 He sauntered over to the video poker machines to a black woman who seemed to be a regular. I told her I was looking for a certain funeral home, knew the name of the street but didn't know the name of the funeral home. She asked if the deceased was black or white?

BINGO! Had my directions. Here in the south we lay our peeps out by  race. Sad to say but it is the truth. In less than five minutes us whitey's pulled into the lot. It was a sad affair to say  the least. My neighbor didn't really want to look at our young friend but the book was in the room with him so I stepped in to sign it for the both of us.

 I am almost fifty two and have attended more funerals than weddings at  this point in my life. When my mother died I wasn't really happy with the way she looked. She looked fake to me and I made the mistake of touching her hand,  which didn't feel like the hand that had held mine or hugged my neck for seventeen years.

I looked at this young man and he looked exactly as I remembered him asleep on my couch after spending the night with my own two boys. Peaceful and at  rest.

It made me cry uncontrollably.

My neighbor and I went over to his parent's house afterwards and talked for a hour about the kids. They had two, my neighbor had two and I had three. They ALL grew up together. When we moved to Newnan Massey was two, Zach was four and TJ was  eleven. All our three and their combined four ruled the neighborhood and not only wore us out but wrecked our houses, dug holes in our yards, shot BB guns when we told them not to and pretty much gave us gray hair earlier than any of us parents desired.

But you know what? They are your kids and you love them regardless. That is what a parent is for and that is what a parent is SUPPOSED to do.

My kid's have made so many mistakes they make me look like "I" was a good kid...which in fact I wasn't but my parents loved me anyway ... helped me  when they could and made me suffer consequences when necessary.
I am a firm believer in bringing back "Butt Whoppings."

But when you lose a child (who will always be your CHILD) it tends to feel like too much too little too late.

My kid's aren't perfect. My kid's have worn me out time after time but yet  other times have warmed not only my heart but my  hand as they have held it.

These parent's will never feel that warm hand again. Sometimes there are no "Do Overs" in life. This is one of those times.

There but by  the Grace of God goes anyone of our kids. Hold them tight, it may tick  them off but it beats going to a funeral.  Keep a check on them and pray for the best. Kids think they know it all...I know I thought I did. These parents did the same thing but lost the gamble. In the world today you just never could have just as easily been one of my own kids. I have known this family for over a decade. Good people, wonderful people  They are sitting  where I could be sitting.

 Wake up kids...That's about all I can say. The ball of life is in YOUR court.

Times have changed and I'll stand by my comment "It's a scary world."

On the way back we got directions from Big Chris (the dad) and it took us twenty minutes to get home. As my daughter would say "SMH."

Til next time...COTTON


mark said...

Black or white, he was still a kid. And he had a dog, which is like a kid to the tenth degree. Too innocent to be faced with the life we have lived. But you know what? You're right. When I was that young, I didn't want to hear what my elders thought. I needed to live and learn life on my own terms. I'm just so sad when I learn about a boy who didn't survive someone else's mistake. He's not going to learn his own lessons. Instead, we have to learn from him. The world is, and it is not scary. It is wild and wonderful, and full of good and evil. My prayers are with him, and with those who survive him. Go with god, and try to smile... it does help.

Cotton said...

I love you too Mark...Thanks for loving me. It's a messed up world for sure!