Earlier this week one of my friends, TT, age 36 with a wife and teenage son, passed from this life as a result from a motorcyle wreck. I spent most of Monday in a lull as my mind was flooded with memories. He and I met about 5 years ago when he came to work at the dealership where I was a service cashier/warranty administrator. He was a wonderfully funny guy that made it his goal in life to be liked by everyone around him. His girlfriend at the time and I had known each through her work (she took Peanut's pictures at a studio all the time). She would come visit him at work and because of his job would end up visiting with me more but when had chance he'd come sit and talk with us.
On several occasions he worked on my car. He specialized in front end repairs so when I bought my 79 Z28 Camaro he did all the front end work after hours. My friend refused to accept money as payment, the ONLY form of payment I was ever allowed to do was to cook supper for him, his son, and girlfriend. We all enjoyed the friendship. His son played with Peanut, who was about 2 or 3. TT was the same age as Nickel and both understood cars so they had plenty to talk about. In 2002 Nickel and I bought our house. Out of all the people we know my co-worker/friend was the ONLY one to show up Saturday morning to help us move. Another friend had babysat Peanut all night so we had moved a lot of the smaller things the night before, but he was a big help in getting the bigger, heavier things while put the house together.
Years past and things changed, as they always do. I moved positions in the dealership which limited our contact, he and his girlfriend broke up, and later I left the dealership all together. It wasn't (isn't) very often that I would step foot on the dealership property after that. I had no need to, and very little desire except to say hello to my friends. Time put a distance in our friendship, but our friendship couldn't be broken, not even by time.
A few weeks ago my friend needed to take her Jeep to the dealership for repairs. She and I had lunch plans so I rode with her to drop the Jeep off. It was lunch time so most of my friends weren't there, but TT was. As soon as we made eye contact we smiled. Once out of the Jeep we shared a hug that I won't soon forget. He was my friend and though we hadn't spent much time together in the last couple of years we were still friends enough that a hug was the only appropriate way of saying hello. This is how I want to, and WILL remember my friend.
Another friend, God love her, wants to go "view the body" tonight since the funeral is tomorrow. Though I don't fully understand this morbid obsession of other people wanting to see the passed loved on in a wooden box I have agreed to go with her tonight. But let me just say, this was not my idea nor do I really WANT to go! I'm not one of those people that need that to move on. I can watch CSI all day long and see the "dead" bodies without any emotion, but seeing someone I have fond memories laying there, motionless does nothing for me. I have closure during the funeral. Where they always sing Amazing Grace and talk about how wonderful the person among the floral display was. Ok, now don't beat me up, I know that people grieve in different ways ( I really do get that). Nickel for instance would prefer the world not bother him as he finds everyway to avoid human contact (which is how he is anyway but if he's grieving he'll do anything to be alone). Me, I cry a little, share fun memories, cry a little more, and then I'm done.
Ok, this is much longer then I anticipated. I'll let you know how the service goes tomorrow. I bet it'll be PACKED!