Most remember people when they pass away by trying to remember the good times, good memories or good words. Sometimes , depending on the deceased, those words are hard to find. Not in this case ...this case was my cousin's husband...my cousin in law..... Charles Rex Scott.....the family calls him Scotty.
You see he has made many friends in this world for many reasons and I have watched the news reports and have heard so many great words about this man, I am proud to call "family" , although I didn't know him as well as he knew me.
When my Father was dying, the first relative I called was my Aunt Letha Lee, the 2nd...my cousin Alexis.
Alexis and Scotty live in a nearby town and the town has so many great things to say about their elected official "Judge Scott" now serving as the D.A. ...
here is a great description of here here in this article to understand more clearly who he was to so many people. My best take away from the article is that his words were chosen carefully and sometime no words were said at all by this smart and caring man, who was responsible for the livelihood of so many including several of my family members.
The Farm. I got a chance to visit what I call our family farm, when in reality it is not. It is Sonny and Alexis' farm...the one they take care of that they bought from my cousin Kenny, who inherited the family farm. It is beautiful there and holds many stories from many family members and will for generations to come. I was particularly taken by two things inside the house at the farm. One was a block counter island that Scotty and Sonny built from a roadside desk that they picked up and crafted into this beautiful heirloom that even the finest of mansions would be proud to display.
The other thing that struck me was the bulletin board of photos. Photos , articles and cards from the two families. My two cousins that are siblings combining their family memories and marking them there in that house , eating hot tamales and making Jelly. I am so proud of them and I know so would my Grandma Kay....not to mention my Aunt Odeal and Uncle Kermit.... I know if there is a heaven they are there and I know if they can "see" they would be very proud.
I did not get to break bread , not even once, with Alexis and Scotty during the two visits in two years but I was happy to see them , but unhappy about the circumstances (3 funerals). It was different with my cousin Sonny, we talked on the phone almost everyday, picked up where we left off and he single handedly walked me and my dying grandmother through some very difficult times.
Scotty was in the background though...don't get me wrong. He supported my efforts in every way that he could from afar. Alexis offering a firm hug and sound advice too and showing up at just the "right moments" even helping me to decide the "proper" way to make a tombstone for geneiological purposes, something I would not have cared about nor thought about otherwise.
Scotty was a pall barer for my family members. Standing there helping to move them to their final resting places and Alexis held my hand tightly as I said goodbye the best way I knew how.
I sat outside on a bench outside of the funeral home hands covering my face crying uncontrollably and publicly (kind of) not really caring who was near or far ...but away from the autrocities and the most hypocritical burial I had heard of or read of ..... ever.
and then this voice , this stern, quiet voice whispered in my ear......."everything will be okay, Anjela"
I looked into Scotties eyes disbelieving that he could even fathom that would be the case, "how could anything EVER be okay, after what was happening inside?" I looked at him and asked , "do you promise?" and he nodded , looking me squarely in the eyes and said "Yes, I promise."
The man who chooses his words so carefully and many times utters none, said the words to me that I would hang on to throughout my battles and struggles with the wrong doings in my fathers death....
Just like that.
No warning. He was found in his hotel room, he died of a heart attack they say. They also said he had a big compassionate heart too..... I wonder if it was all used up, beat up from the many things he saw in his job and everyday life in the courtrooms?
I won't be at his funeral, my face and body would be lost amongst the masses....I can't leave home now I am booked to work weddings and proms and things that cannot be rescheduled. The people that will be there all knew him much more than I did even though they may have not known him as long. or be "family." They will be there.
I can only say that I will remember him and his words over the phone, and on that very important day forever.
So now I struggle with the same words ...... to my beautiful cousin, Alexis, her kids and grandkids....."
"It will all be okay"
I know it doesn't sound with the same resonance of the voice of a Judge, You may not believe me at all..... but...
I don't know that from the bottom of my own heart I know it from his.....
Scotty's Heart Said So.
He will be missed by so many .
So our relationship ..... was odd...... to put in mildly. We went to the same high school together, had a lot of things in common, knew many of the same people yet we really didn't know each other well at all...until....... she started dating my high school sweetheart... .somehow ...she thought that she then knew me and didn't like me at all, simply because I was friends with "him."
It was strange how our relationship evolved. She went from raising her eyebrow at me almost in a daring way when I spoke .........to being so close that I asked her to be my maid of honor at my wedding.
I found out several things about her as our relationship grew... #1...if she loved you she loved you hard...but she couldn't "handle" certain situations.... The breakup she had with my high school sweetheart was the first that I witnessed the next and only other was the birth of my terminally ill son. When he was born , my BFF , the one I wanted near me the most was not there. To this day I do not know what exactly her feelings were about this as we never had this discussion...... except what I did in reaction....
What I do know is that we were connected at the hip for several years. We enjoyed some of the same things and I introduced her to her boyfriend that she lived with for a while who just happened to be my husbands best friend. We shared many good times, meals, video games, painting and holidays. We intermingled our lives and our families.
We laughed until we cried when she was decorating her Christmas tree sitting on her couch and throwing the ornaments with my daughter across the room at the tree to let them land anywhere they may....as it didn't matter anyway, the cats would surely move them, and knock them down. The cats would do this as her one eyed dog would watch along with my 2 year old in great amusement of the fun.
I remember she drove me to the airport for one of my excursions home to New Orleans and we missed the flight by seconds....she promptly got me back in her car and raced to DC and finally to Baltimore so that I would be able to catch a flight....any flight.... and not miss my long awaited trip.
We were forever documented on film , MTV came to town , and the two of us got front and center tickets ..... to be part of the cheering and dancing crowd for Joan Jett and another warm up band with hunky guys..... me being at least 7months pregnant ..... had such a great time.... I was even grabbed and kissed by the lead singer of the warm up band as my BFF laughed and cheered with me.
We would sit and talk, or not talk..... for hours. She was at my house almost daily and helped me to figure out life's problems and was my rock....my pitt bull ....she protected my feelings and gave me strength when I didn't have it for myself.
Another friend of ours would warn me.... "watch out for her haircolor" if she is blonde she is fun, if she is brunette she is calm , if she is a a redhead.... run! I didn't pay that much mind, instead I giggled and thought , "we are all moody" , that is just a coincidental observation.
This girl feared no one. She stood by me through the custody battle of my step daughter and dared anyone to "mess" with me and that quest. She stood against anyone .....that may be bringing ill will or drama to our lives. I was absolutely no help in this area.... I just let her "do her thing." She was one of those "strong women" that you read about.... or watch in the movies...determined and smart enough to "get er done" when it needed.
I loved that she loved my little girl and found joy in spending time with her. I named her her God mother , as after all she took her to her first concert (Bon Jovi) , Kings Dominion and for play dates on a regular basis. They had so much fun together in those younger years. She had no children of her own , then or now.... I thought she would always be mainstay ....a part of my family..... always
And then my son was born. She disappeared. She did not call. She did not ask about him. She did not visit. She did not bring flowers. I was in a fog, heartbroken and devastated. My rock, my Pittbull, my BFF was not there for me to help hold me up. Lots of other people were there, but it wasn't the same. I was grieving the health and wellness of my little infant son and I was grieving the strange disappearance of my girl. I did not have the strength to figure out what was wrong.... or what I should do....
I waited a week or two, not sure of the exact time, everything in this time period is mostly a fog. My husband's BFF did not call him either, the two of them were a couple and were now living together. We didn't know what to think. We decided one day, together, to go over to their home and basically "test" them to see if they would ask or bring up my son. They did not. There was a huge strain, an awkwardness in the air and we left. Sad.
Our relationship dissolved very quickly. I did tell my friend, later, after my son passed away and I got a huge bouquet of flowers with a beautiful note from them.... that I had "tested" our friendship....she said that I was what made her move, out of town...to another part of the country. I reached out to her several times over the years, thinking that she wanted or needed me to forgive her...thinking that she felt guilty over not knowing how to handle such a situation..... a hard one ....that at our age of 23 years old was even harder due to our lack of life experience.
I was wrong.
Apparently it was I that hurt her...... I didn't call her .... and I "tested" our relationship. She let me know in no uncertain terms that I devastated her and she had to get out of town away from everyone because of it.
I remained facebook friends with her for years, watching her progress through life.... from afar...she has done very well for herself...and accomplished much. She has traveled extensively, obtained a few honorable degrees and has made a great life in a different city. She started over and did it well. She has dedicated her life to animals and their welfare and represents them both in a court of law, through rescue and providing a home for many of those that would have been killed otherwise. If she ever made a bucket list I watched her cross off many of her "dreams" one by one including buying an awesome motorcycle that she could maneuver like the best of them.
I got to see her briefly when she came to town, I took her and another mutual friend to lunch. We had a great time and was able to talk as if our relationship never skipped a beat. I was sorry that I was unable to spend the weekend with the girls that gathered at the bay, but I had previous plans and was unable to do that. Perhaps if I had been able to go things would have turned out differently, perhaps better, perhaps worse....I don't know.
I was able to hook her up with that High School Sweetheart when he was traveling her way, to get a tattoo, they met an had a drink together and talked about old times. Both of them married, but, both of them shared memories of another time together and were able to meet and talk out what ever stood between them all of those years. I wish I had that same opportunity, but I did not.
That crazy cat lady.....well ...... I am not sure what color her hair is today.... or what she will cross off that bucket list next but.... I was happy to know her for the time I did and sorry that our wires crossed the wrong way...... I learned a few things from her but most importantly I learned....
Never "test" your friends...... just love them ..... the best you can....