Saturday, October 22, 2005

Southern Love Story

Terry Lee lives up in the northern tip of the county where his legacy is. I remember goin' to his grandma's visitation, and the shock on his face when he saw me turn up at the funeral home. That was a mighty fine hug, if I say so myself. Grandma was a member of Trimble Methodist, which we all know takes care of their own. Terry picked out the casket with a nice patchwork quilt inside for her trip to the other side in Gloryland. It was pretty, if I say so myself, but then I'm partial to quilts.

He moved into her house a while a nice residential section of Trimble right behind his Mama and Daddy. Nothing but a hedge in between the generations. Susan and Jesse lived right next door to him with a pool and their own mixed up business. Their kids Matt and Jessica suffered through the divorce of their parents and came out on the other side with their lives intact, if a bit roughed up. All the while, Miss Mattye was gettin' cancer and didn't even know it.

Mattye had raised Sheila and Susan on her own for a long time, and then she met Billy, the big time farmer and high roller. They raised those girls and Terry in the little house that is Terry Lee's home to this day. His picture still hangs in Mattye's house in the living room...all blonde and cute and stuff. In a suit! I ain't never seen the boy in anything other than jeans and a t-shirt,personally. 'Cept for funeral days.

Mattye died several years ago, mercifully a quick death. She had cancer everywhere and threw a clot one rainy Saturday afternoon in June. By Sunday it was all over but the cryin' and the arrangements at the same funeral home where Grandma got eulogized over...this time by the Baptist preacher. Praise the Lord!

I still remember the look in Terry's eyes when he saw me saunter up at the graveyard out there at Cool Springs. The dirt had been turned just so to make room for Mattye's coffin near to her sister Sue in the Presbyterian cemetary. Big old trees shade the place next to the church house. A couple of years later, I drove up the gravel path and parked. My feelings had got the best of me, and I needed her advice on which way to go with her boy. It was probably wishful thinkin', but I thought I heard her say "go for it, girl". She does so love that boy of hers. And she always loved me too.

Last time I saw him was when I got invited to Susan's wedding and he had to take me. Sheila did it up real nice at her house and we all enjoyed the nuptials. There's a picture of me and him somewhere that I never saw. One of those family things that I'm sure will come back around someday when I least expect it.