As I lay in bed Saturday morning, getting my head right for the memorial service I was going to for step Auntie, siblings woke up and started sending text messages back and forth. Good mornings and I love yours passed and how momma wanted us there by 10:15 no later than 10:30. When my phone rang at 7:00, I thought it would have been Tippy or another sibling. Instead it was my cousin Scram. She was crying and asked if my brother called me. That made me think immediately about my mother and my heart started racing. When I told her No I hadn’t heard from him, she then told me her nephew, my oldest cousin’s second born son, was shot and killed around 3am.
I asked for no detail at that time. I was just in shock and going through what I usually do. My feelings are mixed because of the way he and I parted ways officially 11 years ago. I haven’t seen him, even at family functions (that I’ve rarely been invited to) where he would be.
Before I moved to where I am now, way before that, I still lived at our family house that was my grandparents. I was there with my mom, grandmother and kids before my grandmother died and my mom went to a nursing home. In those years, my oldest cousin’s two oldest children they were wild and out of control. Lived a thuggish street life. How do church boys grow up like this? Living a life they didn’t have to. Anyway, they sold drugs, smoked a lot of weed, acted all wild and crazy. And I had no standing to put them out since it was not technically my house. So, I started a plan which involved making them pay for things. I was not bringing home enough money to pay the mortgage payment, but was expected to pay the phone bill and other utilities, water, sewer on a house that wasn’t mine? When I kept noticing charges for a phone call to Mississippi, I’m like what is this? The older of the two said it was his girlfriend’s cell number. She lived here but had an out of state number. Oh. Okay. Then you are about to pay this extra $20 on this phone bill. That mfr was gone by the time the bill was due.
Then this one. He would get high, let my daughter get high, accused her of stealing from him, had addicts coming to the back of the house to buy drugs from him. Then the house got kicked in. My kids and I were not there when it happened. Lucky for him there were no drugs in the house, but some inspectors was there. A few days later I received a letter that said we had to vacate the premises in 30 days.
After all of that was settled, I decided I had to go. I had been trying to rally the family to help me fix up the house and keep it in the family for years but no one listened to me. They talked a good game, but no one had anything on it. Our legacy was shattered. So at some point he decided to move out and he left before I did. But that didn’t change my decision. I sent a notice to the family and said come to the house, pack up what you want, clean out what needs to be, because I’m leaving. I moved around the corner, but I moved.
About a year after I moved, he found his way to my new place. Someone told him where I lived. He came by and shot the breeze. Umhm… I told him then I can’t have people over. This dude then comes back to my place at like 11p. My kids were sleep and I was on my way. He was trying to come in and stay the night. Nope. I never opened the door. I told him this is not Aubert. I’m not obligated to open my door or let you stay. I proceeded to be up for a significant amount of time because I thought he would kick my door in. I slept with my bat that night. I saw him the next day at a neighborhood function at the park up the street, he looked at me then…averted his eyes as if he never saw me. My feelings were not hurt, but I was hoping he would have understood.
These later years found him to be an addict himself. He has children. One preceded him in death. Two are in the custody of his mother. I think he just had another child, could have been his brother. I’m not certain.
Our beginning wasn’t like this. He was one of my many babies. I took care of everyone’s kids to the point I didn’t want my own. He was the little baby I couldn’t get to smile for me. Then he did. I remember how his lips would do when he called me by nickname. He was an adorable child. He was one of my babies.
I won’t let my only memories of him be those that weren’t favorable.
I know his father is my blood, but I called his mom. She and I had always been close, even after their divorce. She is processing, yet hasn’t really wrapped her head around it. She said the hardest part was telling the grandbabies about it. A social worker was there to help so that’s that.
Sometimes I eye leak just thinking about how he went out, sometimes I just sit in awe. I don’t know man. I’m not going to be blubbering, dealing in the I wishes nor the woulda-shoulda-coulda… Nah. Because in the end, we weren’t close. Most of them that rallied at my cousin’s new house barely dealt with him. Matter of fact they were hanging on the block with him, practically encouraging them everytime they let them hang out. But…what’s done is done.
God has spoken yet again.