Not Bad for a Country Boy/Black Man Down

by admin on January 21, 2017

Not Bad for a Country Boy/Black Man Down

A year ago, we lost a great man on an operating table with his chest torn open, not unlike that creature in Aliens that incubates inside its victims before re-emerging victorious, tearing through bone and flesh alike, seeking new life. Except in this scenario, only death reared its ugly head. With eyes closed and heart still, a warrior faded out of existence without so much as a goodbye to his family and friends in his wake. “No dice” what was told to me by the operating surgeon as he entered the small, non-descript room where families go when the surgery for their loved ones is touch and go. My younger sister loses it. His partner of thirty plus years exhales in lost, defeated. Slowly inside of me, in the heart of me, a flame flickers brightly, briefly, then extinguishes itself leaving me still and frozen inside.

I am fully aware that death is a natural phenomenon that is as sure as taxes but nonetheless, it took the air out of me, sucker punching me with a force I haven’t felt before. I left the room, leaving his immediate family to mourn and walked down a dimly lit hospital corridor to collect my thoughts and come to terms that there will be no more Old Man in my life. No more daily texts of good morning/afternoon/night. No more “boy’s night out,” leaving our respective significant others at home to be Masters of The Universe, if only for a few fun filled hours. No more heart to hearts, spoken in a language that only a father and son could truly understand and acknowledge. There were never enough of any those, no matter how repetitious or arbitrary they may be to some. I’d kill to have them back. Between us, I still secretly text him. Guess I’d be kind of freaked out if he responded.

Yes, I miss him. I miss him more each day but one thing he instilled in everyone who was close to him was the ability to keep going, to persevere despite all odds. So, that’s what I’ll do: I’ll go to work. I’ll take care of mine and keep my affairs in order like the son he wanted me to be. I’ll uphold his name which he was generous to pass down to me and honor his life by preserving his legacy in the best possible way I can.

An Old Man passes. A family mourns. An icon lives on in all of us.

 

 

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