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        Crumb § Harris Family, Inc.

Bug, Bug, Bug,

As soon as I have a “good” day or two; as soon as I think, “It’s getting better,” as soon as I began to breathe deeply, I have a day/episode/thought that makes me know…not yet.

However, I can finally talk about some of my other feelings, fears, dismay, and terror caused by my losing you. I was so scared and worried when Johnnie was so sick. Priscilla was so sick and I was scared and worried about her too. I did not want to have to make THAT call about Johnnie; I just knew I could not do it. And Lord have mercy, I for sure didn’t want to receive THAT call about Priscilla. They got better; the crisis passed and I was able to breathe.

When Sylvia was diagnosed with Cancer, it flipped me for sure. God brought her through it. He brought Kent through; I was and am so grateful; things were looking bright. I mean, there was and will always be a health issue or two. All of us are old and it comes with the territory.

But child, when you up and left, with no warning, no word, no heads up…I don’t even have words to tell you what that did to my heart, mind, body, soul and equilibrium. I know I must leave here one day; I’m okay with that…all of us must, but that was like a slam into a wall. It seems like I just suddenly came to the clarity and realization that either of us can leave here at any time. We don’t have to be sick, or in an accident…we could just be gone. Did I have some illusion that it would be the NINE of us forever? I don’t even know how to answer that. I just know I barely breathed for many weeks. What’s next?

I relaxed after a while; accepted there is nothing I can do. You are sorely missed for so many reasons.

I’ve made two trips to Lawrenceville with Millie to see her children and grandchildren. I’ve become your “stand-in” or something. I’m not doing a great job. She has pointed out to me, “Okay now, Bug could spot the ‘Man’ from quite a distance.” You were the Official Spotter on all Family Trips, ‘cause you know you didn’t like to see those lights pointed in your direction. That’s just another one of your many skills. We are probably just now realizing how many things you were an expert at performing; you did them so quietly and so effortlessly that we didn’t even notice, we just took it for granted.

D’Quandra and her boys finally, finally moved into their new house. She says that almost every day, she sees or thinks of something she needs you to do, or that you would have done for her. She said you two had already discussed all the things you were going to do to help her get her house in order. Millie said she went off on a repairman who had not done something to her liking and said, “If my Uncle Bug was here, he would have done that much better than you. My Uncle Bug could do everything.” Boy, Boy, Boy, again I ask, What did you do?

Grandmother and I had a little heart-to-heart a few days ago. She said, “I’m getting there. I’m feeling better. But girl, you just don’t know how crazy your momma has been. I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for my computer and my puzzles. I’m better now, so I’m not going to be on it all day anymore. I’m going to act like I’m used to having something. I couldn’t go ‘relax my nerves’ every day, but this computer sure has helped.” I was so glad to know she is feeling a little better. Did she stop doing three, four or more puzzles a day? I have to take the fifth on that. LOL!

I read something the other day that made me pause and think. I sent it to everyone in a card. I hope it made them think also. It was, “Are you going to be thankful for all the time you did have; or are you going to grieve forever for the time you didn’t have?” That was a profound statement.

You walked among us for 55 years. We have so many memories. Are we going to tarnish or lessen the joys, fun and importance of those memories by only focusing on what might have been? What we should have done, or what we planned to do, or what we wish we had done? That’s not our intention, but it pops in our mind sometimes.

A friend of mine said we should never try to “not talk about you.” Every memory we have of the last 55 years includes you; so to try not to mention you would be to besmirch our memories of the good times and/or bad times. So be assured, we talk about you. We laugh about you and at you; or something you said or would have said.

We miss you Baby Boy. Step by step, day by day, we can see the sunshine. We can hear the birds sing. Sunday is Easter; Resurrection Day; the day to remind us that He indeed lives. And because He lives, we can and will face tomorrow.

Love you man.

4/3/12

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Hey Baby Boy. It's Saturday, March 10 and we "spring" ahead one hour tonight. I will never understand who needs that much daylight at the end of the day. Morning light is more important to me, but then, who am I? Exactly! Anyway, Spring is in the air. It has been an exceptionally warm winter. The trees are budding and blooming; grass is growing, the sunlight is very bright; reminds me of Southern California days.

I'm not going to keep you, for I know you have better things to do. I just want to get an update on your candle. Is it burning brighter and for longer periods of time now? I hope it is. I think so, but you are the one to know for sure. There are still tears, but they have lessened a bit; they are not hourly or daily, therefore your candle should be burning pretty good. Right? For me, it's mostly when I'm doing "mindless" stuff/work; like dusting, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping, vacuuming, etc. My solution is to not do any of that, just read and/or stay at the computer. LOL!

We will think about you, talk about you and miss you for as long as we live. We are trying to find that "spot" or "place" where it doesn't hurt so badly. We are getting there. I know you are anxious to know about Grandmother. She is doing good...much better...getting there. You know she has always been a hummer, whistler, singer when she is involved in something. Well, she's whistling again, especially while doing her puzzles.

I don't think she was even aware that she had started groaning or moaning. I think she thought she was doing her usual humming, but it wasn't coming out that way. It was a groan. Child, Child, Child...you talk about something that hurt me all the way to my toe nails, that was it. Oooou! That day I cleaned your closet, she sat on your bed watching me and watching The Young and The Restless. She groaned/moaned the entire time. I kept asking her something or making a comment; she would respond and go right back to her groaning/moaning. I tried to rush through it because I thought I would die. I know the hurt she was feeling is beyond anything she had ever experienced in her life. When I think of my greatest hurt and/or sorrow and multiply it by 100, I know I don't even come close to what she was feeling, and God knows I pray that I never will.

I don't know when she got back to her whistling or humming. I just know one day, she was at the computer and she was whistling. It was the best sound I've ever heard. The other day she said, "If Bug was here my bricks wouldn't be lying around like that. He would have picked them up and placed them in their proper place. He would be cussing and fussing about these no-good children around here, but he would take care of it."

Millie said, "He would be out there digging the yard up to plant new flowers. I would be telling him some were perennials and would come back. It wouldn't make a bit of difference; he would just dig everything up and expect me to buy new flowers to replace them. He was so crazy!" She said she had been talking to you about her hedges; its time for you to clip them, but not down to the ground like you did last year.

Sheronda came into town last night. She is at Grandmother's helping her plant some flowers. The job is being done, but we all know it's not with your technique, expertise, flair or creativity, but it's getting done. When I go over and see it, I'll let you know. I can't go right now, I don't have transportation. That ole boy of mine has my vehicle and has had it since Tuesday. OMG! Normally, I wouldn't have anywhere to go, or have need of anything, but this week has been stressful...I didn't have my vehicle and had a thousand things to do and places to go. I haven't had a salad since Tuesday! OKAY?! OMG! If being in prison feels worse than this; I need to make sure I never go. Your car is in my garage, but one has to be special to push a Mercedes and I'm not that special.

Let me tell you this, then I'm going to let you go. DeLo and the girls gave Henry a party for his 60th Birthday at Penn's. It was a great evening. I was holding my breath, but it was good and I was able to exhale. You were missed and your name came up, but it was in funny stories about our childhood days. As I said, it was a good evening. A friend of mine of mine said it's good and healthy to talk about you. It's good to mention you. We should not try to act like we don't think about you or remember you, because you will be part of our lives forever. Almost every story we tell or think about telling involves you, so talk.

Well Honey, I guess I've kept you long enough. I hope I'll be getting my car soon. Now he tells me, his car is still not ready. They need a part. OMG! Does that mean he needs my car next week? Geez!

Bye for now.

I/We miss you Boy.

P.S. I saw James the other night at Lynch Street. He is doing good. He sounded a bit emotional, but good. He has probably been that way most of his life, or he could very well have developed it from hanging around you and your folks. LOL! I haven't seen Larry in quite some time, but I hear he's fine also.

Written

March 2012

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Hey Cowboy: Today is February 19; a Sunday; two months to the date that they pronounced you. I'm okay. Everybody is hanging in there. We went to a funeral yesterday. Another Mother was forced to say 'Goodbye' to one of her little chicks. A Father said 'Goodbye' also; so did Sisters, a Brother, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, the entire nine yards.

I didn't or don't mean to imply that it's easier for a Father than it is for a Mother. I feel the Mother's perspective because I am a Mother. Saying 'Goodbye' to one of your babies is a Parent's worse nightmare. The Circle Of Life is...is supposed to be...that the chicks/babies say 'Goodbye' to their Parents. But...God, in His infinite wisdom, has the final say.

The funeral was for Carnice. Be on the lookout for her. Show her the 'ropes'...help her get acclimated. She was a remarkable woman. She did so much for so many. I know her Family will miss her terribly.

Grandmother finally had a good cry. Well, that was the first good one that I am aware of. For some reason, she thinks she is not supposed to let go. I have my owns hurt and pain, but I hurt so much for her that it's often unbearasble. Her strength and fortitude are legendary, but your departure was/is a bit much for her.

She's going to be okay...at some point. She will, as well as the rest of us, learn to deal with IT, ONE day at a time; but for now, we are stumbling along, moving forward, but shakily, puzzled, uncertain, baffled, and simply confused. It's gone be aw-ite though.

Okay Baby Boy, I'm going. I needed to say something today; not because it's the 19th; not because it's a Sunday; I'm not sure why, but I needed these few minutes. How to end it? Man oh Man. Shuckin'! Shuckin'! Shuckin'!

Okay...xoxo

2/2012

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February 9, 2012

Baby Boy, I dreamed about you last night...this morning to be exact. It was my first time since you left. Let me start off by saying, when I got in bed, I was exhausted from dealing with your momma. She has me making Valentine Cards for her Sunday School Class. OMG! While I do consider myself to be creative, my creativity does not lend itself to cutesy, cutting, gluing, pasting, or lettering. But, when Grandmother enlists you, what are your choices?

It was about 1:00 AM when I got in bed, then about 3:00, there you were. I will probably never know the dynamics, or the whys of the scenario, but it was so very real. You were sitting at the table in Momma's/Grandmomma's house. Kent was sitting next to you, real close, all up in your face. He was grinning for days, the Kool-Aid type grin. His eyes were bright and shining, he was hanging onto your every word. Johnnie was sitting across the table from you. He had that little peaceful, satisfied expression of his, you know the one...all is well.

Sylvia and I were standing behind you and Kent. She was to my right. Lord, was she ever smiling; showing Big old teeth all over the place. I have a sense of Millie on my left, over my shoulder, looking on. You know how she pretends to like being in the background. I have a sense of her smiling, but I didn't really see her expression. My expression was one of awe, or incredulity, yet joy at seeing you.

Boy, you were looking good; you had your suit on. Your face was full, bright and shining. I don't know if the light was all around you or within you. You were holding court; telling us about your new bicycle; waving your hands or rather raising them in the air like you are prone to do. We were so glad to see you, we were looking at you like you were a celebrity or a Super Star of some kind. It was so good to see you. A sense of peace and joy prevailed.

When I woke up, I couldn't move...literally. I don't know why. I tried so hard to get back to the dream to see if anyone else was there, but I couldn't go back.

Is there a message here Baby Boy? Do you want us to know you are fine; to let you go? Why was I the chosen one? Because I'm the oldest? Because you think I'm more capable to getting your message across? Because you think everyone is moving on except me? Will I see you again? Oh Lord, it was sooo good to see my sisters and brothers smiling that way again. It's been a minute. I promise you, I am moving on...I'm old, so I'm slow. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Why Grandmomma's house? Do you want us to know that not only are you in the bosom of Jesus, you also are in the bosom of your/our grandparents? In other words, right at HOME? A new bike? Why? New transportation in your new home? I think I will just go with that.

Okay, I'm signing off now. I'll talk to you again.

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