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Goodbye Sonny

Issue Date: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005

While in San Antonio I got a call from Gloria. She left a message that said, “We need to chat.” My brain ran through many things, all the possibilities of what Gloria would want to chat about. She did not sound happy, so I knew it wasn’t good news.

Was it Siska? Is she ok? How was her pregnancy going? The last I had heard (last week) Sis was just fine, glowing, radiant and happy as ever. Was D’wayne’s Momma alright? She was always working herself so hard. Did Glo find something in my journal that she didn’t like? I had no idea, but I wanted to be prepared and the possibilities were endless.

I called her back when I got back to my hotel room and tried to keep it light.

Gloria answered immediately and said, “Hey Sue, Troy’s daddy just died. D’Wayne is taking it pretty hard and we are headed up to [small town] tomorrow or as soon as we hear when the viewing and the funeral are. D’ knew that you would want to know.”

She gave me the particulars that she knew.

D’ had talked to Troy’s wife(S) and Troy and S were headed to East Texas to take care of the funeral arrangements. Glo said that D’ would call me as soon as he knew more information. I told her I loved her, to send my love to D’ and that I would talk to her soon.


I immediately called Mister and he said that he wanted to support me and stood behind my decision to go to the funeral and the viewing. I talked to my boss, even though I didn’t know all of the information, and started rounding up the troops to see who could come to the funeral to help support Troy and his family.

Chad was already on the way to another funeral and Trixie’s boys just started school so they couldn’t come. And LuLu has a tee-tiny one and works a frillion jobs, ditto for her husband.

Mister, myself, D’Wayne and Glo were the only ones that could go.

D’Wayne called me Friday morning to give me the details and made sure to tell me that Troy wanted me there.

When I called Troy … ya’ll… it had been almost eight years since I had seen him or talked to him.

I got home from San Antonio late Friday night with blisters on my feet from running in the airport with Polo® flip-flops on (stupid, I know). Mister and I made the decision to do some laundry that night so that I could sleep in my own bed and that we would leave in the morning and head to East Texas. I also needed to be alone with Mister for a little while. He comforts me and as soon as I got home, the stiff upper lip that I had going shattered like one of those tiny glass horses I used to keep on my windowsill when I was a young girl.

I had heard from D’Wayne that the viewing would be on Saturday from 6-8pm in a small town next to Lake Fork and that the funeral would be on Sunday at 3pm almost to Texarkana, TX.

We would be doing quite a bit of driving.

Saturday morning we packed and hit the road… a little later than I intended, but it was really rough getting started. I almost cried at McDonald’s and I asked Mister to cut my bangs. Damn bangs. He did such a good job, but he declared me a hostile patient.

D’Wayne and Gloria decided to get a hotel room in Sulphur Springs at the Best Western because it was the halfway point, they reserved a room for Mister and I across the hall from them and I was soo excited to see them.

D’ and Glo and I kept calling each other from the road, “Where are you?” “Are you close?” And we decided that regardless of the circumstances that we were so excited to see each other.

Saturday evening at the viewing as soon as I saw Troy’s mother she hugged me soooo hard and thanked me for coming and talked to me about how long it has been since we’ve seen each other and that Sonny (her husband) would be so glad that I had come. I introduced her to Mister, she hugged him too. Then Troy’s oldest sister walked in… and she did the same. She introduced me to her children whom I had not seen since they were wee. Then Troy came in. I almost lost it when he came over to all of us and with a shaky voice said that, under the circumstances, hopefully we will not leave here with such a long time in between seeing each other again.

Since I have seen him, Troy went through seminary and has really become a very solid man. I have been keeping up with him through D’Wayne, but when he performed his father’s graveside service on Sunday…(man… that was rough)… I saw another side of my old friend. And I am so happy for him.

I could talk about how the power almost went out during the viewing and how I would have been sitting in a dark room with a dead person and try to lighten this up a bit, but I just wanted to get the details down on virtual paper so I would remember this for the future. I want to remember how sweet and supportive my husband is and how much I love my friends and how I don’t want to go that long without seeing them again.

I also want to say that along with grieving for Sonny, I am sick over this Katrina business. Ya’ll know how much I love New Orleans. I must stop with the obsessive watching. That is all.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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