I always knew when my father's time came I wouldn't handle it well. In April of 2012 that reality slapped me in the face. And yes, I was floored. A blubbering cry baby. Took a long time before I could manage the tear ducts and ward off those stained cheeks and red eyes.
I also knew that when my mother's time came I wouldn't feel much of anything. I was my father's son and didn't bond with mom like I did with Dad. In June of 2013 she passed and like I had known, nothing. Not one tear. Not even a red eye. I tried to make myself cry but, it didn't happen.
Now, let me tell you a story...
Yesterday, while I was waking from my afternoon nap, my wife comes home from a shopping trip. The dog alarm sounds and I continue to lay, eyes closed, in the bed. I reach out my arm and point a finger as I hear and feel her come into the room. She sits beside me, touches my arm and says, "I have something to tell you." My eyes open and I see the despair in her face. The quiver in her lips. I feel her shaking hand. "I have something terrible to tell you," she says again. I'm thinking her mother has passed and I started preparing to console and comfort her. Then she drops the bomb of all bombs! "It's Jacob." I'm sitting upright now - searching her eyes for some sort of, of, some sort of news that wasn't terrible. It didn't come. Jacob, my 36 year old son, died in his sleep. He and his 8 year old daughter were in Atlanta visiting an older relative. Kaelyn couldn't get Jacob to wake up. She called her mother in Tennessee. Her mother called 911. EMS arrived and couldn't get him to respond. He was gone. No cause of death has been determined yet.
I am absolutely crushed. I slept from 12:30am - 2:00am this morning. Been up ever since searching my mind for a reason. For a cause. For a why. 36 years old. Strong as a bull moose. Tough as a pack of wolverines.
It's driving me crazy not knowing. It's not supposed to happen this way. Kids are supposed to outlive their parents. 8 year olds are not supposed to lose their father.
We pretty much say good things about the dead. I reckon to be respectful. And, I can go both ways with Jacob. He was not a saint. He did some things that didn't follow society's rules. Paid the price for those decisions. If you pissed him off or screwed him or his, he'd beat you down. Verbally or physically. No matter. He was up for either way. He also had a heart of gold. Looking at all the posts on his Facebook page, I'm not the only one that thinks so. It's flooded with RIPs and praises and good memories and shock and disbelief and wtfs.
He lived his life the way he wanted. (except that one rocky part) No restraints and only one regret. His poor decisions kept him from Papa's (my dad) funeral and he lost valuable time with Kaelyn. He hated the latter.
If there's a here after, save me a spot. I'll be there sooner or later. Find your momma. You and Papa talk about Roy's watermelon blade and look down here, make jokes about us and laugh. Come a-visiting sometimes but, no haunting. I love you, 'Jacket'. I cannot believe you are gone.
Brian Jacob Johnson - RIP
December 11, 1979 - August 1, 2016