Last week my step father's father died. My step dad Lloyd, was a brother amongst seven other brothers and sisters and was also a twin. The Layfield family grew up in Newcastle and years later his mother and father spent the rest of their lives there, still in the same brick house. Until recently his father Leroy was doing alright, getting old but going places, I was honored that he was able to attend my wedding, his wife told me that was his last official formal outing. It was taking a huge toll on her, but how could you not take care of someone you love that deeply?
Tonight was the viewing for the immediate family, usually I'm not to nervous about funerals. However, only five minutes from my work I took the ride and my heart was just beating like crazy. I knew this was going to be so hard to see this family go through this again. About five or so years back my step fathers sister Lori, well her daughter was killed in a car crash and about a year later youngest child was killed in another crash. So hard, she was left with a her son Bobby, however fate had it that he would almost be taken as well. Late last year he was in a car crash and almost died but he recovered after many surgeries and so forth. I just amazes me that, that kind of thing would happen to a mother more than once, a child being taken twice and almost a third; is there no mercy? So you now know why I was a little nervous.
It is always hard walking to the funeral home door, there are certain aspects of death that don't bother me, it is more the mourning process that takes a little getting used to. No one wants to have to go through it, and it is so different for everyone. I think the hardest part is seeing everyone have to go through heart ache. It is one thing to think and go over things in your head, but when people express sadness in person I can't take it. So getting back to walking to the door, I was welcomed by Bobby sitting outside, I said hey stranger! What a miracle that kid is!
I finally made it in, and it was so somber, just like a weight dropped on my chest, it is so hard to know what to do, I just came in a sat with my mom and two brothers and turned back and said hi to my step dad. At one point Lorraine, mom mom as we call her, had gone up to the casket and god it was horrible, she was talking to her sweetie and caressing his hand and his gray white mustache with her fingers. She had just fell apart up there sobbing out louad, I felt so awkward and I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I can't imagine loosing a close loved one, but loosing my husband. They spent everyday together for over 50 some years, gone through so much together. I was laying in bed the other night, Bruce my husband had already fell asleep, I was just praying and thinking about her, their lives were infested in each other and now he is gone. She had to make the decision to let him go, I think the past two weeks were so hard, he had not been functioning cognitively and his body was shutting down. I remember seeing this same situation with my beloved grandmother Sarah Elizabeth in her last week on earth, the last time I saw her alive was Christmas of 2007, yet she wasn't totally there, two days later she had passed away in the hospital with her close family and friends next to her, we had played her favorite song from our cell phones, "Memories" by Elvis Presley. Those were the last days of her life and the last days of Lee's life, he died in his house along with his wife and children, I can't imagine that scene. I wasn't ever really too close to him, but the situation is all too real, so many memories ya know.
My mom had called me up on the phone last Thursday and told me the news. The funny thing is that same day we had found out my brother Mark got married in South Korea, so strange. The interesting part that night when he died was that they didn't call the undertaker for several hours, the family just sat by his side and later called the undertaker over and cooked him dinner. He was close member of the family, the same undertaker that did Ronnie and Jamie's funeral. I guess you get close to these kinds of people when the situation comes. I heard someone say tonight, I am so sorry we have to keep meeting like this.
Tomorrow is the funeral and so many people will be there to honor him, it is one of those things where you have to go through the same emotions again. Alot of people were talking about what they were going to wear to the funeral, a couple people said black but Lorraine, his wife said I am going to wear blue, because Lee loved that color and that was the color of his bright blue eyes. How romantic!
I can't imagine my soul mate being taken from me, I couldn't go on living in the same house or not part with his things, even Bruce's comics or blanket. It is so weird how we perceive death when we are young, my husband already has a list of what he wants to be buried with, his mustard yellow blanket, his Danzig shirt, Spiderman 17 and a copy of the Talisman. I don't think I could part with some of his things, I dunno these kinds of things get me down, I should stop thinking about that. I know death will come one day, could be tomorrow for all I know. Sometimes I think I will go in a car crash, I always think that when I am driving, ok this could be the day. I am curious to know if everyone thinks like that? Tomorrow is another day and we must live for that day, spend those days with the ones we love and tell them too.
Reach for the sky because tomorrow may never come.