Friday, July 24, 2020

It still hurts like yesterday. | Remembering Anthony Haynes.

 Something has been speaking to me everyday for the past couple of weeks.  I've been remembering our loss of him, and realizing that the anniversary was 15 days away.. Then 10.  And as of  today, Thursday July 21st.. 7 days.  But I had the date all wrong.  For some reason I thought it was July 28th, when it was actually July 22, 2010 that I discovered that he'd answered the Higher Power calling his name..  For some strange reason he answered...

In Memory of Best Friend & Brother, Anthony John Haynes

Originally posted July 22, 2010:

7:49A Jul. 22, I'm on the southbound Red-Line train to downtown, and my Cantaloupe Island ring tone awakens the other passengers as well. Digging furiously into my hand bag, I can't find my phone fast enough! Who could be calling me - and for what? At this hour?  Have I missed a call from my 16 year old driving to class?  God, I hope nothing's happened involving her.... It wasn't my daughter after all.  It was my brother.  I dialed back, and his fragile cracking bass voice answered... "I have some bad news."  My mind scanned for some rationale to this message... Unlike past random calls from my youngest sibling, there was no humorous anecdote or Discovery Channel wisdom to deliver. This morning, he cleared his throat and said..  "Anthony died."  "Anthony who?"......  1 second... 2 seconds.. 3 seconds..  In unison; I asked, he declared... "Haynes?!"  My baby brother's best friend, who was born on the same exact day, the same exact year as he was.  Dead? Say it's not so!

Stunned.  I listened.. as he told me as much of the details as he knew.  Silently trying to extend to him everything I was lacking.. I wanted to curse out loud!  But was acutely aware of where I was.  On a train, in close proximity to others who were listening, as I might have been. My heart was breaking... breaking.. Completely broken.  Feeling my brother's pain.. "Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy."  I heard myself saying, over and over.  How will we cope?  How will he cope?  His best friend is dead.  "I'm sorry, TQ.  I'm so very sorry."  

Before I canceled my Facebook account a month ago, Haynes was the only none family member I listed as "family."  He was the only other one I enjoyed chatting with online. He'd always initiate conversations with his customary "Whats up, Sis?"  We'd briefly exchange greetings about nothing much or his adventures on the road as a truck driver.  He and my brother were like natural brothers since the day they met.  I knew my little brother would have to look past his pain and direct his mind toward the corporate mission and the recognition that he was an employee first, today!  And so was I.  This inseparable part of that which is the core of what should be going on for everyone who wants it, in this country... But how dare they need us more today than yesterday!  Don't they know?  Should we tell them?  We just found out, my brother's best friend is dead!!

After a few minutes of gazing at fast moving trees, and clouds and traffic from my window seat, I called my mother to inform her and to seek maternal solace for me and her absent youngest boy.  I felt a twinge of strangeness after she said... "You scared me.  I thought you were going to tell me something bad about one of us."  "Anthony is one of us!"  How had she missed the connection?  Ho hum. I guess I have the task of putting my  mental peace and quiet back together, for myself.. As it was time to get off the train and go to work  like nothing was the matter.

From boys to men..
Gosh.  They say, youth is wasted on the wrong people.  The two of them had an abundance of youthful charm, good looks, and great 'old school' attitude.. Youth was not wasted on them!  They were the good guys.  Doing the best they can with what they had.  And they're the kind of guys that are easy to forgive if they couldn't get it right!  Gone too soon, is an understatement.  I can only regret not being on Facebook right now to share in the memories and help go through the muck.. and or help find purpose in his departure. If there is any.

Oh well.  I have my own memories to cherish and dwell on...  Like my brother's wedding, when I enjoyed watching them both act all grown up.  And a couple of New Years' Eve's ago, when our slightly smashed trio rendered Auld Lang Syne truly forgettable via phone from Houston to Dallas.  My mind doesn't know which single vision to carry as Anthony Haynes in heaven.  The past memories, or the present truth.  I'll have to wait and see which one gives me more peace. 

Here from Heaven and back again...
My baby brother's best friend is gone.  And it tugs at my soul that I can't see him to give him a hug in his time of grief.  How does life go on?  I can only imagine it's harder for TQ to reach outside his deeply personal thoughts and feelings to fill and envelop his loss while he's on the job today.  But I'm having a hard time coping with this thing, too.. We didn't just make friends with Anthony, he was a trusted beloved keeper, friend.  He was family..  And He would have been the first one I called if I needed him to find TQ.. like my TQ needed to find him, after he wasn't responding to phone calls and text messages since Monday.   They tracked his path to a rest stop in Chicago.  Too too far away from his loved ones in Houston.  Oh, God!!!!!  No more Haynes for TQ to say... "Guess- what?" to.  Or to disclose or betray some soul-baring confidence between him and his darned near twin, my baby brother.  

Well.  What I really need to say to Haynes right now, is this:  Because you were best friends with TQ (my best friend), you held a lost piece of me.  And I will miss your undivided devotion, and personal  connection to him.  I love you.  I miss you.  So does he.

We’ll see you on the other side, my brother.

 Anyone can teach you about love... but I can make you good at it!

| This

| Jackie D. Rockwell |All Rights Reserved © 2008-2020 |