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We’ve all been lied to….

28 Mar

When the date started getting close, I decided that I wasn’t going to post anything about it…I swear I wasn’t.  However, the closer it got, the more my resolve waned.  Thus….I’m writing this.

I submit to you all, members of the jury, that we’ve been lied to…

Run amok.

Led Astray.

Hoodwinked.

Bamboozled.

I submit that Time does NOT, in fact, heal all wounds.  It just makes the scab tougher.

I present  article number one into evidence.  It was a year ago on the 24th of March that my brother died.  And I swear that things haven’t gotten much easier.  I mean, a few weeks ago, I found myself searching thru my old cell phone voice mails PRAYING that I could find some from him…just to hear his voice one more time. I found a few.  Now the question in my mind is:  “Am I supposed to delete them?”.

Don’t get me wrong.  Me and Sid weren’t the CLOSEST of brothers, and he, like all of us, had his faults.   We had our differences (Boy oh boy DID we EVER have our differences), but at the end of the day, that dude was my BROTHER…and the end all be all of it is that I can NEVER question his love for me as such.   I remember how just a  few months before he died, my car was being worked on by a family friend.  It had been sitting in their yard for MONTHS with no progress, and it was putting me in a bind.  My brother called me and was like “Man…I can’t let him do that to my little brother.  I’m gonna take me a hit of my inhaler, get on my scooter and go tell him that he better fix my brother’s car right now!”  and that’s exactly what he did.  The mechanic used to tell me how my brother  (and his oxygen tank) would come down there almost EVERY day til I got my car back.  LOL

So in thinking about all of that, it occurred to me, a lot of times, there are little stories like that that really give people a good insight into the quality of a person’s soul.  If you allow me just a moment to wave my nerd card, I think the Bard said it best when he said,   “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.”  (HA…You didnt know that I could come off the cuff quoting Shakespeare, huh?  BAM!)  Anyway, my goal is that I let people know of the good that my brother did….and that he was appreciated, so consider this post my selfish attempt at just that.

So often, we measure a person’s  value in material stuff; cars, homes, income, etc.  When in reality, that stuff is meaningless.  My brother left this plane of existence without much STUFF to his name, but that didn’t mean that his moment in time with us was a waste.  It just means that if we were investing in the company that is the memory of  Sidney Sutton, we’d need to base our valuation on things other than assets gained…..maybe we’d need to look at some intangibles; souls touched, moments shared, and lives affected.

ANYWAY……..(wiping away tears again….dang…)

I decided to repost something that I wrote earlier.  When I first did it, one of my other siblings read it, printed it out and gave it to my mother.  I think that she still carries it with her to this day.  She shared it with some of the people at her church that were going through similar situations…and they even asked for copies.  I’m saying this not to brag…(I’ve never been the braggadocios type) but to share…If you feel like my story below can help you or ANYBODY going through something like that…feel free to print it off.  I really dont mind.  So, below is one of my posts regarding my brother’s death and how it hit us…….

Foot

Sometimes, the Words Ring Hollow (For My Brother)

(This post is therapy for me)

Even though it was many, many years ago, I still remember the words as clearly as if I had just heard them yesterday.

“God heals you in one of two ways, he takes the pain away from you, or he takes you away from the pain.  Either way it goes, he makes the pain stop.” , he said.

Deacon Harris’  words drifted up to me from the small makeshift bed in the back of the van as I drove.   You could feel the pain that mated  with his speech as each word, slowly, purposefully tumbled over his teeth; eventually breaking the forced, awkward “non monotony”  of the sounds of Sade songs wafting from the cd player.  The music was ill placed, but it helped me to ignore the obvious fact that here was a dying man lying behind me.

His words refused to let me wallow in the self imposed sanctuary of my  denial.    He said it again, but this time he used my name to get my attention.

“Ty, did you hear me?  I believe that God heals you in one of two ways, he takes the pain away from you, or he takes you away from the pain but you know, either  way it goes, he makes the pain stop.”

I nodded my head, and said, “yeah” over my shoulder; too scared to look back at him.  I didn’t want the question to go into the territory of what I believed  because at the time, his words rung a bit hollow to me.   I couldn’t see past his impending death, and I questioned how a man  that had been in that much pain for so long, could be talking about healing.  Nothing had worked so far….Death was just……death.  No HEALING.

“Good.” he said.  “That’s important.”

So, with that, we plodded on.  I took great care to avoid as many bumps as possible, lest the sound of moans and grunts from behind me remind me of the frailness of my cargo.  Sade continued to be our riding partner.

Across the years since, I would often wonder  why he decided to say this to me twice on that ride.   Maybe he knew that he wasn’t going to be around much longer and wanted to make sure that I understood that he thought he’d be in a better place.  Maybe he just said it to make himself feel better, or maybe he felt that I would need to be equipped with this knowledge to help me down the road.

Fast forward to Sunday, March 24, 2013, 7:35 a.m.

My cell phone rings.  I answer.   The voice was  Dale’s.

Within it, I felt something that I had  never felt in that voice before.  There was a  seriousness that leaped over miles and miles of cell phone signal to grab me by the shoulders and shake the remnants of the night’s sleep away.

“Tyrone…What are you doing?” This strange/familiar/strong/weak/ brave/scared  voice said.

“Nothing much, man.  Just watching some t.v.  Everything cool?”  I knew things weren’t.  It was too early for  things to be “cool”

“Mama just called me.” He said.   “She said that Foot is might not make it.”

There was that shaking coming across the lines again.

Foot is my brother.  Well, his name is actually Sidney, but  for some reason, the name Foot was given to him and I guess he never disputed it enough,  so it stuck.  Foot had been battling some serious diseases for the last few years.  Over a year ago, the doctor had given him 6 months to live.  On Sunday, we were at over 14 months since that proclamation.  It hasn’t been all smooth sailing since though.  Between then and now, there had been many  ambulance pickups, e.r. visits,  long hospital stays and even doctors telling us that we needed to go ahead and call all of the family to town.  Each time, Foot would bounce back, like some kind of bad penny that just kept turning up.  I remember, the last time the doctors told us he might not make it back home, we were all gathered in his hospital room.  He was talking with us; joking like he always did, when he looks around in sudden realization and says,  ” Hey….All of ya’ll are here???  Is something’  happenin’  that ya’ll ain’t tellin’ me ’bout?!?!”  He went home a few days later;  Foot, the bad penny.

The voice on the other end continued to talk.  “I’m on my way down there now.  The rescue squad people are  there working on him, but Mama says it don’t look good.”

(Come on bad penny!…….come on bad penny!)

“Call Daphne and let her know, but don’t call the house, Mama is pretty tore up.  If you have to call, call Bobby.  He’s over there.” he said.  Daphne is Foot’s daughter.

“Ok, Dale.  I’ll make a few calls and I’m on my way down.  Don’t worry, dude…Everything will be cool.  I’m on my way in a few minutes.”

I hung up the phone. Sharon was the first call.  She had literally just pulled out of the driveway on her way to church, so she was back in the house in no time.  I told her about the conversation and she said that she would call Daphne for me so that I could get ready to get on the road.   So, I went upstairs to get ready.

I called Bobby.  He said that he got there about the same time as the paramedics did.  Despite my hopes that his interpretation of events would be different from Dale’s, they weren’t.  Things were not good.

He said that they had been working on Foot for over 30 minutes.  Nothing was working.  They had tried everything and they continued to try.  Then he said something that really brought things home to me.

“I want to tell them to stop trying; that it’s not going to work…..but I can’t tell them that.”

Bobby, the strongest one of ALL of us in my opinion, said it wasn’t going to work…..The shaking that came across the lines was worse this time.  It shook me with the force of a full fledged gorilla.

(COME ON…BAD PENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  COME ON BAD PENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  JUST FREAKIN’ COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I got dressed, packed up the car, and Sharon and I started on our way.  The plan was to pick up Daphne and the girls and head down.

8:21 a.m

Bobby calls again..  “Man…..they just pronounced him dead…..”

It felt like the hand of God reached down and pulled every bone from my body,  squeezed my lungs until I couldn’t breathe and forced tears out until they  burned in my eyes.  I forced myself to finish the drive to Daphne’s house….all the while steeling myself up for the next phase.

I got out of the car, and walked to Daphne’s door. I knocked.  Out poured her and my two little nieces; bags of books and toys in hand.  We got the little ones settled into their spots in the back seat and put Daph’s bags in the trunk.

It’s kind of a blur, and I can’t remember who  told Daphne, but I do remember looking into the back seat and seeing her shoulders heave up and down.  I suppose, that God used his other hand to do the same things to Daph that he did to me.  Her pain spread across the back seat like wildfire and soon the little ones were crying too.  I decided it would be best to go inside and talk, so we got out of the car and went inside.

The four of them all sat, huddled together on the couch, with their shoulders rising and lowering with their sobs and  with their tears watering their shirts.  Our family had never been so closely touched by death before, so I let them deal with it on their own terms for a while.  Then, I knelt in front of them. with my mind overflowing with thoughts and stories and analogies and various witticisms and none of them seemed like they would work.  I decided to just start talking and let whatever would come out…just come out….And that’s EXACTLY what happened.

“Girls…..you know, God heals people  in one of two ways, Sometimes, he takes the pain away from them, sometimes he takes them  away from the pain.  Either way it goes, he makes the pain stop.” .

I smiled a bit on the inside. There was my answer as to why I was told that so many years ago!     God used Deacon Harris to plant something in me that I would use to console my family during my own brothers death.  Oh God, my God…..infinite in all your wisdom.

I used that analogy and others over the last few days each time bringing a small piece of understanding to those I share them with.  Heads would nod in approval.  Eyes would be wiped with understanding.  Now, I I wish I could say that I’m so strong that I don’t need them for myself, but that’s not the case.  Each time I get the chance to say it, I draw a little bit of strength for myself and I’m able to hold on just a bit longer.  I realize that I (and my whole family) will be tested over the next few days, but I take strength in knowing that God set some wheels into motion oh so many years ago….We’ll be just fine.

Rest in peace, Sidney (Foot) Davis  Sutton.  I miss you, Big brother.

 

 

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33 responses to “We’ve all been lied to….

  1. Diva Riches

    March 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Diva Riches… and commented:
    Hey, God is so awesome! Thank you for sharing your story. I have reposted on my blog for others to share this healing process. Awesome

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      March 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you. The check is in the mail. LOL!

       
  2. Diva Riches

    March 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Hey, thank you for sharing your story. Its so important to help others heal from experiences such as this. Great post!

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      March 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you for the kind words….and thank you for the reblog….Not sure if I’ve ever gotten one of those before!
      Ty

       
  3. blackpressradio

    March 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Is the book in the works? Great article and thanks for sharing this with all of us!

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      March 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to give me a kind word. I am always truly humbled when people appreciate my work. Yep. .. there are actually THREE books in the works. There’s “Doorways”; my supernatural thriller. (I’ve posted some introductions to some of the characters on the blog in some of the sidebars) There’s “Time Wears Bunny Suits?” which is a teen fantasy novel. . Then there’s my baby…”Daddy’s Doing Hair?!?” which is my self help guide for fathers of daughters. A lot of the blog is from “DDH?!”…again… thank you for reading!
      Your friend,
      Ty

       
  4. Sandy

    March 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Ty, you are right that it is not the stuff a person has, it is what they give of themselves. A touching story of how to cope with a death in the family.

     
  5. Lenie

    March 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. The death of a loved one is so very hard – you’re very brave to write about it. All the very best to you and your family. May you all find peace.
    Lenie

     
  6. ballnchainz

    March 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    This is Jay,
    First let me say sorry for your loss. Next i want to say that i understand why your mother printed this out. Thank God for the wisdom that was passed onto you earlier that toy could use your your family. Thanks for sharing

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 1, 2014 at 9:18 am

      No…Thank you for READING it. It means a lot to me that with all the other ways people have to spend their time, they spend just a little of it to read my ramblings. Thank you so much.
      Your friend,
      Ty

       
  7. Paul Graham

    March 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    A very moving account Ty and thanks for sharing. The bard gave a lot of thought to each word and as you note he said oft rather than always. Good for you in making sure your brother was an exception

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your reading it and your encouraging words.

       
  8. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB)

    March 31, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Remembering a loved one in writing is indeed therapeutic and a powerful way to share your feelings with others.

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 1, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Yep….I go back and read it whenever I’m feeling down about my brother. Thank you for reading!

       
  9. jacquiegum

    March 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    An incredibly touching story and how lovely of you to share this with us. The grieving process is different for everyone…it’s a kind thing to help people through it…you’re doing that with your words. Bravo!

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 1, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Thank you. When I first wrote it, my intention was just to get my feelings out in a manageable way….I never dreamed that it would/could actually be much help to anybody. I’m glad that I was wrong.

       
  10. jbutler1914

    April 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Very moving story. I lost someone in my family a few months ago. I’m not sure time heals the wounds 100% either.

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Yeah, man….It’s rough….It’s something that we all have to go through, but it’s NEVER enjoyable. I actually even spoke at my brother’s funeral. I think I blogged, in one of my posts, how my daughter requested that I make everybody laugh during the funeral. I did it, but MAN that was hard when we were all tore up inside. Anyway…know that even though the feelings don’t disappear, you can soothe them with other things…I chose family. Through it all, my family has gotten closer/stronger than ever before. Where we USED to only communicate once every few months, we now talk a LOT more. I wish/hope/pray for the same for you.
      Your brother,
      Ty

       
  11. William Butler

    April 3, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Hi Ty,
    A pleasure to meet you. I always said if we had a son I am going to name him Beauregard Tyrone, or Beau Ty for short. As you can see, you’re the last word in beauty. 🙂

    Now to your blog post. I say it the other way around… Time wounds all heels. Doesn’t matter how fast you run or where you think you’re going, it will catch up with you.

    My condolences on the loss of your brother. It’s rough to lose loved ones. I’ve lost family members and friends close enough to be family. There’s no way around the hurt. Focusing on the happiest memories has been a great help to me. Otherwise, that sea of sadness would engulf and drown me.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      The pleasure is all mine, kind sir. (LOL @ Beau Ty!!!!!!!)
      I LOVE the way that you put man’s relationship with time and I agree totally. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I’ve learned to do EXACTLY as you said…focus on the good times. That always helps and actually brings a smile to my face whenever I’m down.
      I appreciate your words.
      Your friend,
      Ty

       
  12. andleebakhlaqkhan

    April 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Even with brothers we have problems but at the end we know that still…. brothers.
    this is really a great story and God surely reduces pain over the years but once someone is gone , I believe he/she is always around , it’s just we can not see them but feel them with us , each time we need them.
    Surely healing from grief is different for each person but this was a great effort to remember your brother and we came to know about your feeling through this post.

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      I’m SO glad that you mentioned that. I really do feel like he’s around SOMEHOW. It just feels weird not to be able to pick up the phone and reach him. Sometimes, I find myself trying to talk to my brother. He had his faults, but he always looked out for family…and I feel like nothing would end that bond. Thank you for reading and for your comment.
      Your friend,
      Ty

       
  13. Max's Midway Marketplace

    April 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    hi; its up to you. If you don’t want to delete the messages then don’t. one of my brother’s worst days was when he got a new cell phone and the clerk at sprint deleted my dad’s voice mail message off of it. my family still has audio tapes of him and my grandfather playing guitars and singing together. and i know one of my family members has old him movies of me and my brother michael as kids that i would love to have again. do what feels right to you. you are blogging, so however you are grieving it isn’t keeping you from living. and that is the key. take care, max

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Yeah…I think I’m going to keep it. It hurts now to listen to them, but I think that sometime in the future, it’ll become a real comfort to hear him talk to me again. It’s funny, but I think the thing that I’ve missed the most is the way he’s ALWAYS answer my calls with “What up, Big BABY?”
      And you made some excellent posts, brother.
      Thank you,
      Your friend,
      Ty

       
  14. Beth Niebuhr

    April 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    What a fine tribute to your brother. Thank you for sharing. It is hard to lose people close to us, especially when they die young. My older brother died too young too.

     
  15. Susan Cooper/findingourwaynow.com

    April 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Ty, I love your story, but them again I have always loved your stories. You have such a good heart. I am so sorry for your loss. losing a brother is very hard. Your writing about him in some small way is a way of keeping him alive in your mind. :-).

     
  16. crystalzakrison

    April 6, 2014 at 4:34 am

    I love this article! Thanks for sharing your story and sorry for your loss. That was definitely a cool thing that happened. I have heard “Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.”I agree with that and God is definitely working in your life. =)

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      April 10, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you so much for the comment!!!!!! It meant a lot to me!
      Your friend,
      Ty

       
  17. tuhinmech

    April 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    “God takes the pain away from you, or he takes you away from the pain” ….Very well said dear! I will keep this in mind… A very touchy post indeed. Stay strong and have faith in God!

     
    • Ty McDuffie

      May 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you so much for the kindness!

       

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