So its the beginning of a new year…a new decade and although I’m thankful to see another year, I was forced to bring it in with a heavy heart. The last day of 2010 and the first day of 2011 were spent saying goodbye to loved ones. Never in a million years did I think something like this would EVER happen. I mean it feels like I’m in a never ending Lifetime movie…and I HATE Lifetime!
As I watched what seemed like a whole town come out to pay their respects to my cousin, Jamie, and someone who felt like my cousin, Kela…I couldn’t help but ask “why”. Why did it have to go that far? Why did he snap? Why did it have to end that way? Why did they have to die? WHY? I know God makes no mistakes and everything happens for a reason, I just wish I knew the reason. I wish I knew the reason two little boys had to lose both their parents, the day after Christmas. I wish I knew the reason I had to watch two mothers bury their children. I wish I knew the reason so many people are left grieving. It just doesn’t seem right.
I HATE funerals! I usually don’t even go, I would much rather remember them they way they were…but I forced myself to go to both, and I’m happy I did. I felt a peace, a calmness after leaving each. I loved how during both services their moms walked in hand and hand. I love how both families attended the others homegoing. It would have been easy for Kela’s family to hate Jamie. Yet, they were right there. Grieving with us…supporting us…lifting us up. The unity displayed during this horrific tragedy was, in a word, AMAZING! No, we don’t condone what he did…but we know for a fact they loved each other, and that helps us deal with this just a little bit better.
I had been having a hard time trying to process this. Every time I would try to go to sleep I would replay the story in my head. And although I wasn’t there it was like I could just see the scene playing out, but I couldn’t yell for them to cut. But Friday as we were at the cemetery saying our final goodbyes, or should I say, see you laters to Kela; they released a dove. Usually the doves immediately take off into the sky, but her dove hung around for about 5 minutes. It was weird…first it flew to a chair, then it flew up in the tent, then it flew to the side of the tent, then it finally flew off. It was like it was trying to do what she did so very well…make everyone smile! Then yesterday, at Jamie’s, the dove flew to a tree branch, just above the tent and just sat there watching us. I know we were out there for a good 20 minutes and the dove didn’t fly away. That dove reminded me of Jamie. He was the protector! He was the go to one when I had guy problems. I felt like it was just hanging around to let us know that everything would be ok. Because when the King of Hugh St was around, we knew no one was going to mess with us. It’s crazy because I’m terrified of birds. Yes birds! But I wasn’t afraid of either one of the doves.
I’m still dealing with and trying to process it all. At times it feels like a horrible nightmare that I can’t wake up from. But I’m thankful for the peace those two doves gave me. (I know it was God that gave me the peace, but the doves symbolized that for me) I’m thankful for having both Jamie and Kela in my life. I’m thankful that I get to see them every time I look at their sons. I’m thankful for the short time we had together and the memories that will last a lifetime. I love you Derris “Jamie” Oates and TeQuilla “Kela” Barrett or as the mortician called you Goldsboro’s Romeo and Juliet