Time have passed and I haven’t written or logged my thoughts about a lot of events that have occurred in this life I have been blessed to live, but a lost occurred yesterday and I needed to share.
As I was driving to my destination, I received a call from my better half. This isn't too unusual as she is always ensuring that I am safe and checking in to make sure that I haven’t fell in the lake while fishing or got lost on the way to work. I’ll gotten accustom to her doing this and when she don’t, I begin to wonder what is wrong, if she is o.k., or I know she is upset with me. Either way, I took the call as normal
“Hello.” I answered.
“How are you doing? She asked.
“Fine, just bored the trip is longer than I expected.” I explained.
“Sometimes they are that way.” She continued on. “I need to tell you something. Before you hear about it or read it on Facebook, but Thomas died this morning.”
I got silent as I little a part of me begin to retreat deep within and prepare how I would handle this news. I have suffered losses before and with each delivery, I go through this preparation. The onslaught of emotions that I truly dislike, sadness, guilt, regret, and anger and how I will deal with them. These emotions place me in a world where control is loosely held and I must control my emotions, otherwise, I can make very bad heartbreaking decisions. So I breathe, pause to allow processing, and then respond.
“Oh, Wow. That I knew he was ill and just spoke to Lucas and Robert (other brothers of mine) about his condition. I planned to see him this afternoon or Monday as I found out he was in the hospital. But I had no idea he was that ill.”
I thanked her for the information, continue the conversation about other subject matter and then ended the conversation. As I continue on, this news of his death, this loss of life coupled with plenty of time to reminisce provided the ample opportunity for my brain to wonder and my emotions to run amuck. I begin to think about times and conversation I had with Thomas, his unique, but straight forward sense of humor and communicating. I first met him as a young man when I dated his step daughter. I was scared, but not terrified of dealing with him he was polite, but stern about the treatment of her. My relationship with his step daughter like his relationship with her mother ended. I felt this gave us something in common to talk about and it did, like the women who left many marks in our lives. Good, we were through with them, but sad because any loss is a bad one. Glad that they provided us with other tools to address other females, but mad because we didn't get to really close the deal like we should have. These type of conversations occurred over the years as well as talks about other things. like similar jobs, we both worked at the local Wal-Mart as well as the social service field. He made his share of enemies and I have been informed that there are people who don’t like me as well.
This was also a topic of conversation between Thomas and me. He, being much older than I, retired. This, I would have assume to be a big event for him and those who knew him, but I was surprised at the reluctance of people to celebrate the success of a fellow or ex-coworker. They refused or stated they were too busy to attend or even send anything. He took this in stride and moved on. He always told me that “You can’t give a damn about what others feel about your success. As long as you know that you have done your best then to Hell with them. Move forward and continue to do what is right.”
After his retirement, Thomas became my brother when I joined The Men On The Move Civic group. This was an achievement for me and I was glad to fellowship with him. I am glad that I was given this opportunity. I truly hate that he was taken so soon and wished that there were more time to say:
Thank you for the encouragement to continue on my dreams, Thanks for the support in dealing with heartache and confusion. Thanks for the laughs and the views of women that I wouldn't have known. Thanks for the connections at my job and with yours. Thanks for the wisdom that was freely given, but most all Thanks for being there for us all. Rest in Peace Thomas Harper. And although, you are not here in flesh, you will always be here in spirit.