Last Sunday was Mother's day, and I may have mentioned its a bad day for me. Ever since my Mom and brother died on the same day in a car accident. But this year instead of mourning, I was on a mission which I hoped would distract me from my own personal woes.
My childhood buddy Pete had died one year ago today. He was killed by a drunk driver, and it broke my heart to pieces when I got the news from his mother Connie. Growing up on the same street as Pete, I was constantly running over to his house to play. Connie was very good to me, she took a fancy to me and loved to feed me. So often I ate two suppers with my Mom none the wiser. Connie was also a kind and compassionate woman that I was able to go to and talk about personal matters that my Mom would never have been comfortable with.
I knew that Connie was grieving. No less than I was over the loss that made me begin to feel alone in the world. I know that sounds dumb, because in fact I have friends all over the USA who care about me deeply and frequently play host to me in their homes. And there's always my cousins. But never meeting your Dad and losing your Mom can be hard on any guy.
As I drove this brand new Pontiac Soltice, I kept on remembering Pete and the trouble we got into. Not so much trouble as mischief, but I was always the ringleader. I would suggest we go hiking into the deepest, darkest woods, or ride on a pool float on the rapids in the river. But we were close, blood brothers, and I found myself hurting from missing him so much.
It was lucky that I had a car going to Birmingham, where Pete and I grew up. Before delivering the car, I was going to stop in the Homewood area to see Connie. And when I pulled into her driveway, she was sitting out on the front steps. She was still a beauty, red hair and a curvy figure, although maybe I shouldn't say that about a friend's mother. Well I said it, so it's out there. But Connie is so much more than good looks, she is sweet and sharp and clever and wonderful. And she was the pure definition of a "classy lady."
Connie walked out to the car as I got out, arms outstretched. "Hello, darling," she cooed.
I hugged her and said "Hi Connie, so good to see you."
She grasped my shoulders hard and said, "Now let's get this out of the way. Your mother and brother and my Pete all died senselessly from a drunken driver. It's tragic but its done, and it will forever bond us even closer together."
I nodded. "I'll always be close to you."
She cradled my cheek in her hand. "And I will always love you, son. Come on inside, baby. You're home."