So, I had a very dear friend pass away about a month ago. His name was Chad Johnson. He used to live by me and then moved down to Texas which was very sad. Although I was sad he moved, Chad and I had a strong friendship and believe it or not we kept in touch through out the years.
This weekend I flew to Texas to spend time with his Mother Penny and Nicole. Penny is one of the sweetest women I know. She is beautifully kind-hearted and a phenomenal Mother. Time and time again, Chad had told me that her and Bob were his hero's and his love for them and Gabby, his sis was enduring. Unfortunately,Gabby could not be there this weekend :( and Bob was flying out by me, the same time I was flying out by him, so I did not get to see him but I did get to speak with him on the phone for a bit about chupacabras and Aston Martins :).
I was looking forward to weekend for a while but I was very nervous of what to expect. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be going down there and feel like this nightmare just began again. I had a connecting flight in ATL. That airport is so damn big. I like to walk to find my gate but after 45 minutes of being lost, I decided to ask how to get to the train so I could find the terminal C. I finally found it and boarded that flight right away.
I arrived in Houston about 1:30 in the afternoon. My second flight went so fast. I was drawing a picture of Chad for Penny on the plane and didn't even have time to perfect it. The plane ride for me started getting a little emotional. "This was it." I was getting off this plane in Houston and Chad was not picking me up. Holding back tears from the public eye, I started to look for my bag. I mean no one can miss my luggage. They say don't bring luggage that will stand out because it is more likely to be taken but I would never travel with out a few Betsey Johnson delights... Anyways, they had locked my bag in a room... I don't know why, but I did not realize that until the 45 minutes passed of me starring at all the luggage sliding by on the revolving belt.
I then receive a phone call from Penny saying shes there. I turn to my left and look straight ahead. I saw Penny! I gave her a big hug, then we went to get my bag, and we proceeded to the car. While in the car, we shared our first light tears. I have been up since 3am, overtired, and hungry for I refuse to buy anything but coffee at airports. We pulled into Chili's restaurant when Penny had called Nicole to come meet us. I was excited to but nervous to. Nicole comes in and greets me with a hug, what a sweetheart she is for real. I feel for her and Penny so much and cant send enough love for them. Our lunch was over and we headed back to the house where everything came crashing down on me again. A couple of Chads friends were there and I guess I was a little overwhelmed. My mood was real rude and I stepped outside to let it out and then maintain composure.
Saturday, Penny and I got up and went to get coffee and kalachis( Spelling?ha) which I had never had before. Around noon, Nicole walked in the door and we took off for Sargent Beach where Chad had passed away. Can you imagine how hard this was for them? They were taking me there and I cant speak enough about how much I appreciate it. About an hour and a half later we were there. Driving passed love shacks, a little lost, we finally found the road. My stomach started getting queasy and this warm feeling, almost like chi, cruised up and down my body. There it was. We pulled over to the side of the road and in the field sat crosses and flowers. Penny and Nicole stayed on the road and I, in fear of rattle snakes, stepped into the field. Standing over the dieing cactus and grass which was pushed to the ground, I closed my eyes and had my moment.
I cant tell you how many times this weekend I had that warm feeling of chi. As I get back in the car, I thank Penny and Nicole for taking me there. It wasn't easy for them, I know that. We proceed to the Beach where Chad was going to go fishing. I step on that sand and think of how peaceful everything was. The beach is so beautiful that even with people around you feel like you are the only one there. We are all quiet and in thought. We stayed there for a bit and then started to walk back in the car. I reach down to pick up a shell for keepsake and I hear Nicole and Penny say, "Does that say Gabby?" There it was, written in the sand, Chad's sisters name. A couple footsteps down, also engraved in the sand were the words "I love you" with an arrow underneath, which pointed in the direction of Gabby. Wow, right? A little crazy. What are the chances of this, the day we go down there, written so perfectly. I took pictures at the beach in amazement and then I grabbed a stick and started to write to Chad in the sand. I dated my note and signed it with love.
Penny, Nicole, and I walked back to the car and continued to drive past all the beach houses and then home. We went to an amazing Mexican restaurant and topped it off with Ben and Jerrys. Later that night Penny and I put on some videos of Chad which I had viewed over and over again. He has this informational cooking video that I could not stop smiling when seeing it. He was so funny in it, I didn't want to turn it off! Penny and I continue to reminisce of Chad for the rest of the night. Saturday, was a crazy day, very emotional but we all stayed very strong.
Sunday morning came fast. I was glad that we did not see a chupacabra on Saturday night. Penny has seen one in real life in her own back yard! Those goat blood sucking creatures are so scary! I am early riser and said rise and shine to that sun at 7am. I stepped out of the bedroom and went on the computer where I started to write a post for Chads wall. Once again, I write something long and meaningful and decide not to post it. I remain on the computer while starring at the pictures that I took on the beach on Saturday, then, spilling tears, I headed back to room to read some letters that Chad had wrote to me a while back.
Shortly after, I hear Nicole's voice. She was saying she had a dream about a chucamunga haha; a chupacabra. I look down and there she was. Today we were going to the country club where Chad cooked. As we drive past houses that you only see on covers of magazine and in your dreams,ha, I thought about how Chad knew he was gettin it. Chad had such a bold and strong personality. He never gave up and I give him so many props for conquering his struggles and his winning over his accomplishments. He was doing so well, I wish I could of told him how proud of him I was. We drove up to the front of the club and the valet parker's hopped in as we got out. The hostess greeted us at the door and guided us through the dinning room to our table with an amazing view. The buffet was packed with luxurious items such as shrimp and oooo weee you should of seen the deserts. There in front of me stand two cooks, one preparing a dish of pasta and the other cooking omelets. I can just image Chad and his personality. The members there loved him. I just know it. We had an amazing brunch and yes, I did go up twice for dessert.
Time was flying so fast, and it was that time. Time for me to head back home. As I packed up the car, Penny and Nicole took me to the airport. Leaving them was so hard. I don't know why, but I always try to hold everything back. I never let anyone see me sweat or cry. As I'm struggling to maintain a straight face, I give Penny and Nicole a hug, where once again that feeling of chi was running through my body. I shut the door and run inside the airport for I was running a little late checking my bag. lol. I board the plane right away and am seated next to this girl who is who is talking dirty on the phone. I believe she was slightly intoxicated ha, but maaaan was she loud and ranting profanity.I just look at the lady next to me and hope there was a different seat for me... There wasn't a extra seat for me but I did zone her out thinking about the hard and depressing but wonderful weekend. Frantically, I was getting the blues and started to cry. Leaving Penny and Nicole was heartbreaking. It was very painful and tragic, really, heart rendering. This whole weekend was such a whirlwind.
I appreciate everything Penny has done for me so much. It was amazing meeting Nicole and spending the weekend with them was like having a piece of Chad back. I am forever grateful and am going to continuously send my love and blessings to Chads family and friends.