Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Demetrius Butler (Meechie), Why did this day come??

Thinking back on this day three years ago when I heard the tragic news… doesn’t seem like it’s been this long. Things were rough then in my house and didn’t have any means of communication but a pay by the minute cell phone. The morning of July 14th I awoke like every day preparing to go to work when I noticed the phone blinking – the power was low and minutes were basically gone. The meanings behind the basically empty minutes were 7 missed calls and 3 messages. I had just enough power and minutes to get the messages. The messages were - one from my oldest brother, my mom and my dad. I went down to the pool at our apartment complex because I knew there was a phone there (not anymore) and I had change to make the call to my Mom. She was very upset when she came to the phone and I was shocked at this since it was just 6:00 in the morning. She said that she didn’t know how to tell me but she’ll just say it – my cousin (Meechie) had been killed in a car accident.

Now mind you, this wasn’t a “normal” accident where there were two cars or more cars involved. Just one… His… That’s it… Most of my family (uncles, aunts, cousins) live in this relatively small town in Mississippi where every road is a back road. Hardly any street lights, houses spread apart, bumpy unkept roads - some even gravel still… But my cousin grew up there; he knew those roads like the back of his hands. Funny thing is when visiting my brothers and I know those roads too although we didn’t really grow up there. My dad was in the military so we grew up everywhere and nowhere at the same time…

Well, about two weeks prior to this, I took the girls to my Mom’s house in Mississippi to spend the remainder of the summer with her. They were just stuck in the house all day every day and it was quite boring for them. Mom and I decided it would be good for them to visit her and just as good for her so that she isn’t alone either. So lucky for this happening, it allowed me to see my cousin one last time.

Although Meechie and I were not in the same town or the same state, it didn’t stop us from being close. We’ve always been close. My Mom (Gloria) was the big sister of the family and his Mom (Linda) was the next sister in line. Our Mothers are extremely close… Growing up I would make sure during each phone call to make sure I tell him and his brother how much I loved them. When we would go to visit, I would stay at their house and spend my time with them. When we became grown, my mom, his mom, my other aunt (Angie) and me would all be on the phone 4 way – laughing and singing. I would tell his mom, “Make sure you tell my cousins I love them.”

I won’t tell you how the rest of the phone call went. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember how it went. I remember after her saying that Meechie was killed, I remember collapsing on the ground with the phone kind of hanging there – I was crying hysterically… I just never thought... Not him, not then… I made it home some kind of way and when I got there, Ryan came running from the bedroom to me. He was asking what was wrong, what happened... I was still crying and managed to get it out to him what happened. I fell in his arms and we both cried and cried... It was horrible… I made it to work and I remember crying most of the day. I spoke to my boss and took off the remainder of the week. Ryan and I got off of work that day at 4 and made the trip to Mississippi, driving over night with “Monsters” in one hand and the steering wheel in the other…

Now, remember, I said that my girls were in Mississippi when this happened. He died not to far from my Mom’s house – apparently on the way home from his friend’s house. I believe his friend saw the car burning on the side of the road and called Linda. Angie, Linda, and his brother Chris (named after my brother) all went to the scene… and so the phone calls to the family came after that… When we arrived that next morning, we went to the crash site. Still in shock, nothing seemed real… What I don’t remember is when Chris and Don (my brothers) and their families made it – everything is a blur… (I remember certain things after this point, but the order is what I’m unsure of. It was such an emotional time for all of us.) While we were at the sight, we were trying to re-live what could’ve happened to him. Things just didn’t make sense. There were no tire marks, nothing indicating that he hit the brakes at all. The tree that he hit was burnt from the bottom to the top… The grass around was all burnt. It was weird, he hit the only tree there was that could’ve done any damage… The other trees and bushes around the area were too small to do anything… Right across from his tree was a dirt/gravel road. It looked like he was driving down the road, someone/something came from out of the gravel road and he swerved to miss it and hit the tree… Of course these are all assumptions… Looking down that street, looking at the gravel road, looking at the tree, it all seemed so surreal. We were looking for clues to what happened. Looking around in the burnt grass for anything that reminded us of him… Ryan found a piece of clothing and the emblem from the car he was driving – it was Linda’s car. I had written a poem for him and Linda placed it in the center of a reef and attached it to the tree. I made sure to put it in plastic so it would last for a long time against the elements…

Family from all over attended his funeral… It was a horribly sad day. Meechie used to say that funerals were nothing but sad family reunions… He was right. Linda picked a beautiful black and gold casket – one that was perfect for him. His flowers, the words from his friends everything was beautiful.

I think of him a lot. Things he would say, things we would do, songs he loved, singers he admired… Everything about him would cross my mind whether I was trying to think of him or not. He’s always with me, he’s always here… I remembered the dreadful day yesterday when he passed and called Linda to send her my love. I remember this morning, the day I found out of his passing. He will never be forgotten, not now… Not ever… I love you…

1 comment:

Tanja said...

Can't add anything to this....well said, Tiki!