"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Over the last 5 and a half days, I have often asked this question... "Why?" Why my Chris? Why does my heart hurt? Why do I feel so empty? Why did he decide to drive early Saturday morning? Why did that man feel the need to make an example of my loving, caring, free willed cousin?
Why my Chris? It was his time? Maybe so. Maybe he did partake in risky behavior EVERY NOW and THEN. He had lived his life and it was his time. Contrary to what the pastor led us to believe on Tuesday, Chris IS in heaven. He will be waiting for each and every one of his loved ones when our time comes.
Why does my heart hurt? Chris was like a brother to me. From the adventures in the woods as children, birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners, graduations, decorating Granny Doris' Christmas tree, Christmas dinners, late night trips to Krystals, teaching me to put black olives on my finger tips, evenings on the porch at Casa, rides in the black Jeep with big wheels, country cruisin', nights at Jacks that led to late nights at Starlite, finding him at the Block Party, searching for him at Bonnaroo, crying to him when someone broke my heart, receiving random phone calls at all hours of the night, getting "Where u at?" text messages at the most random times, avoiding dirty girls in Jacks, listening to him talk smack about me not being a fan of a "real football team", calling him when something was wrong with my car... the list goes on. I followed Chris around from the time I could walk until now. He may not have always followed the rules, but he sure was a happy fella the 29 years he was here. My heart hurts because I've lost my big brother. I've lost a part of me... but I find comfort in knowing he is still with me each and every day until we meet again.
Why did he decide to drive early Saturday morning? Who knows! I'm sure even if someone told him he shouldn't drive, he would've probably done it anyway. It has taken me almost 4 days to get over the fact that there was nothing I could've done. I can't get down on myself and wish I had called him back Friday night. Maybe if I had gone out that night, he wouldn't have lost his phone and maybe he wouldn't have felt the need to drive? I can't beat myself up with the what ifs.
Why did that man feel the need to make an example of Chris? Before I go too far into this, let me just say... this is MY blog, which contains MY thoughts. If anyone reading this was at the funeral Tuesday and he or she feels the pastor did a fantastic job, please stop reading now. I WILL offend you...and I DON'T care if I do. I am part of the FAMILY who he kept referencing, and I DID NOT appreciate the bashing of my cousin. Sure, he drank on the weekends. Was it out of control? Not compared to what it may have been in previous years. Did we need to be reminded over and over and over that Chris made a bad decision Saturday morning? No. We got the point. Thirty-five minutes after he said "Chris had a problem with alcohol and driving", that man finally shut his mouth. Unfortunately, during his after school special lecture on drinking and driving and the numerous stabs at Chris' "lifestyle", he failed to mention how awesome Chris was. How he would do anything for anybody no matter what time it was. He always had a smile on his face and a can of dip in his pocket. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved Tennessee football. He loved his job. He always managed to make people laugh no matter the circumstances. There is no telling how many times he got me in trouble in church or at family dinners because he would make me laugh uncontrollably. He quoted movies all of the time. He was a happy fella. He was a huge fan of Eastbound and Down. He didn't have a worry in the world. Alcohol was NOT part of his daily life.
I left that funeral feeling like I had been cheated. Aren't funerals supposed to make the family feel comforted? Aren't you supposed to leave there feeling some sort of closure? I walked out of that funeral home feeling hurt, embarrassed, and ANGRY. I was hurt because I felt like that was not the funeral my sweet, loving cousin deserved. I was embarrassed because that so-called spokesman for God kept saying "the family" asked him to speak on the subject. Umm... THE FAMILY did not request for that man to bash Chris in front of his close friends and family. It is that simple. I most defiantly did not feel any sort of closure when I left there. I felt like we should've pushed him off the stage and sent him home on the horse he rode in on. As some know, I made Chris proud on Tuesday. I made sure that man knew how displeased I was with his "sermon" or lack thereof.
Oh well. It is over. There is nothing we can do about it now; however, I do hope that man knows how hurt and upset THE FAMILY was.
What has Chris taught me?
Life is so short. Live each day to the fullest.
Live like there is no tomorrow.
If you love someone, tell them.
Never assume you will have a second chance.
Until next time.....