Saturday, February 13, 2010

I really hate death

I hate death.

I wish death would die.

My sweet, wonderful friend, Willie, is gone. His life was full of pain, and was worsening. He decided it was time to go, and made a decision which I totally get ... but I miss him. I want him back. I wish we had found him a solution to his misery sooner, so he wouldn't have felt as though his hands were tied.


His stories?  Well, we never knew what was true, but he was so happy to tell them.  So we listened.

He had two beds in his trailer. A picture of Willie Nelson hung over one. He slept under Marilyn Monroe. His centerpiece on his little kitchen table was an alligator head. He once went to prison for poaching gators while he was living in Louisiana. His key chain was an alligator foot.

We had been here about a month, when he hollered at Michael, "Hey! When you gonna' get some more women out here?" Yeah ... what would that personal ad look like?

He drank like a fish until a year and a half ago. His chosen-family "grandson" insisted he quit ... and he did.

Speaking of his "grandson" ... he was Pawpaw to this sweet boy, though there is no blood relation. He started babysitting and caring for him when he was just a newborn. That family has become his family here (the rest of his family is in Houston and Florida). They spent most weekends together. He loved that boy. He loved him very, very, very, very much.

Willie swore he could not have a cup of coffee without a cigarette in his hand. So, he loved to say it was my fault he hadn't quit smoking - I always have coffee on. Several months ago, I picked up some flavored coffee. Willie doesn't like anything fruiffy or fancy. He refused to drink it. Refused. Actually, his exact words every morning were, "You got normal coffee yet, or you still making that other sh**?" To which I'd sass back, "I'm just trying to help you quit smokin', old man."

He loved my kids. He was aging, and never could remember anyone's names very well. He called my youngest "Little Bit." She loved that.

He hated letting me take care of him after surgery, and hauling him to doctors' appointments. But he also loved me taking care of him after surgery and hauling him to doctors' appointments. One of the reasons I think he is gone is because he was hitting a point where he needed more help and more care. He would have done (and did) anything to not be completely reliant on someone else. I didn't mind helping him. But he did.

I loved how he would tell me the same stories over and over again. I loved how he griped about our old friend, Picasso, every. single. time. we. talked. I loved how his smile softened up his insanely gruff exterior. I loved how he asked if our kids had family in Haiti (after the earthquake) and then checked in every few days to find out if we had heard anything. I loved how he would press one wrong button on his universal remote, assume it was broken, go buy a new one, and cause my husband to roll his eyes asking him to come reprogram it ... yet again. I loved how slow he'd drive that old truck. I loved, loved, loved how he'd say, "Ah hell!" and kinda' shrug his shoulders.

I loved Willie. I miss him already.

30 comments:

tubaville said...

May peace be with him.

lavendergardener said...

Willie has so many great songs that I hope he is dancing to right now.I hope you can look up at the stars tonight and think of him. "We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle."
— Marilyn Monroe

RIP

Terroni said...

I'm sorry about your friend, Christine.

Givans Family said...

My dear friend, I know there just aren't words to help you feel any better. I am sorry you are hurting, I am sorry the kids are hurting. I am sorry that you are missing a dear friend. I am here if you need me. Wish I were there so I could just hug you. Love you!

T and M said...

Christine, I am so sorry for your loss.

Lisa said...

Crying for you and for Willie.

J said...

That's a beautiful eulogy.
I'm sure Willie is smiling.

Ericka said...

I'm so sorry Christine.

:)De said...

Christine, I am so very sorry for your loss. It is hard and it stinks. I am so glad for him to have met you and your family.

Fairwell, Willie.

Peace!

Diana said...

So sorry for you and your family. May you all find peace and understanding as you say goodbye.

ohchicken said...

oh friend, i'm so sorry for your loss. we, too, had a willie, though his name was (drunk) jim. we inherited his dog moe when he died. he, too, was an old friend of willie nelson, with stories bigger than the truth that ended up to be verifiable. he was gruff and gentle, crude and holy. and he and your willie were likely friends once upon a time.

what a gift that you were the hands of God for him during his last days. thank you for befriending him.

big love to you.

Recovering Sociopath said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. What a dear, hilarious, crusty ol' Texas dude.

On another note, what is the source of the Beuchner quote on your sidebar? I love it.

Laura said...

Oh friend. I'm so sorry.

Praying for all of you today!

Recovering Noah said...

What a sweet, sweet tribute, Christine. He'd be so proud!

Wendy said...

Your words touched me deeply. He was a sweet, sweet man wrapped in barbed wire and thorns. God Bless you for seeing past that exterior!

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a neat guy. I'm so glad that he had you to be his friend during the last part of his life. I'm sure you made a difference for him.

Steph, G's Mom said...

I agree with Rachel....what a blessing that he had you guys as friends. I bet it had been a very long time since someone cared that much to just befriend him....just because.

I hope you heal soon.

B said...

aw Stine I am so so sorry.

May you all find Peace.

Summer said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Corey said...

I love you. I'm glad you moved to Texas when you did, so you got some Willie in your life. And vice versa. I'm sorry for your loss, my friend.

Sara said...

I love him just from how you describe him...what a beautiful tribute. I love you friend...praying for peace in your heart right now.

Jessi Hacker said...

I have grown very fond of the Willie you talk about and everything he has instilled in your and your family. I am so very sorry to hear about him. Please know I am praying for you and I'm so so sorry

Babetta said...

I am so glad you had a chance to know him...and he you
and through you...we did too!
Blessings

Jennie said...

so sad! this was a wonderful tribute to him.

Candis said...

Dang, we were just getting to know Willie (through you, of course). Losing a companion in this life is the most normal and most painful experience we ever know.
Rest in peace, Willie. You are not forgotten.

chelle.white said...

I'm so sorry. Thank you for that eulogy - it was beautiful. Though I can hear Willie in the background saying, 'what you doing printing that guff?'

Praying for you and your family through this time of grief.

J. said...

In the Eastern Christian Church when people die we sing a special verse " Eternal Memory" at the end of the funreal service. I think that is what you have done for Wes today, sung his beauty to the world so that he will not be forgotten. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Shan said...

That WAS a beautiful tribute Christine. I'm so sorry for your loss and the for the hole he left in the hearts of all who loved him. I hate death too.

Ursula said...

I'm soooo sorry for your loss Christine. But what a testamony you are. You loved much and Willie was lucky to have such a caring person in his life. I'm sure he knew it and was changed because of it. Thank you for sharing what you loved about him.

ldw said...

I am so so sorry...Willie was one cool dude.