Treys family meant EVERYTHING to him. Everything. And I never had a problem with that. At all. When we were first together I was not known, at all. I met Missy the first time she brought what’s his face to Charleston to meet everyone. I don’t remember exactly when that was...but I think when I finally meat everyone it was the year AFTER the wedding at Thanksgiving. I wanna say it was 2/3 years later. Until that time I would literally get in the closet, and hide if they came by the house. I’m not exactly sure why. Trey wouldn’t make me, he never said hide. I’m pretty sure he would always ask why I ran away. I would instantly run through the house hiding things of mine, taking pictures of us, and haul ass to the bedroom closet. I felt like a sad version of Anne Frank - even had a little bench in there and everything.
I just never wanted to make things uncomfortable for anyone. Being Gay was never a very important part of my life, or Treys. I’ve never understood people that make it who they are, it’s such a tiny fragment of me I never really cared. And, being looked at as the gay guy has always made me uncomfortable. Trey and I were both like that. It’s not something we advertised, or really discussed with people. I can’t even tell you how many times people would ask if Trey had a wife, or if he/I would be interested in their daughter/niece/granddaughter - heck it even took April(although she does ride the slow bus) a couple months to figure it out. She thought we were brothers. But, then my last name was different...she had to ask her pastor (a good friend of Treys, who had recommended her to us). It just wasn’t something we ever really talked about.
Side note...recently I was talking to April about all of this and she reminded me...
We used to have to fill out Company profiles for all of our big clients - mostly airport - Delta, Southwest, Alaska Air...etc...one of the main profile questions was for Disadvantaged Businesses - for gay owned companies. He would never allow her to check that. We weren’t disadvantaged, and there was no way he was claiming that.
As far as family went - He, nor I wanted to to make anything awkward, or weird. So things just happened as they did. Until one day I had lunch with Sally at Johnny’s. She realized I didn’t know the Strock’s, and she never let up on Trey.
Without Sally Leydic I honestly don’t know if we would have ever met. I’m sure we would’ve ... but Trey and I were in no rush. And that drove Sally up the wall. I remember her telling Trey he had better introduce us, or she was gonna do it.
And so it all happened at Thanksgiving. Way back when...2003. I had met missy back in 1999. All I remember about Thanksgiving was -
Super awkward. Me with a red velvet cake...not sure why on earth Red Velvet at thanksgiving, but there it was. We parked at the front of the big house, and I mean BIG HOUSE. I thought I was in Gone With the Wind. Brenda answered the Door. I was like ‘I brought a cake’...she was thinking ‘WHO makes red velvet for thanksgiving’.
It was awkward. I walked in. She introduced me to missy in the kitchen...’Missy this is Treys friend Thomas’. I FROZE. I was about to say nice to meet you...after missy also briefly Froze she said ‘I know Thomas! Hi!’ And gave me a hug.
I was like oh god...run Thomas RUN. And all Brenda said was ‘well, okay’. And then the back door opened. EVERYONE FROZE...it was Tommy.
Okay. Time for me to leave. I wanted to go so bad. I don’t really remember much...I was praying to not have a heart attack the entire time, or maybe to have one so an ambulance could come rescue me. I hated causing a stir. Gimme the closet and a stool anytime I’m fine.
I remember Brenda asking me what kinds of food we ate out west.
NONE. meat and potatoes that’s it. Nothing else. No vegetables. Nothing.
I remember everyone was like ‘yum... red velvet’ but no one ate any. Tommy tried it...and that was enough of that. I have NO IDEA why I made red velvet. I never made it again.
Family was everything to Trey, and nothing was going to mess that up. Nothing. We just made it all work.
Who knew that 17 years later we would be here.
Little ol me closing down a company started way way back. A company brought to Charleston by hurricane hugo.
Who knew anything.
It’s officially spring, because today a reminder popped up on my phone that I’ve had for probably the last 20 years...
start looking for flowers, and load all the cleaning supplies in the car.
Every year, twice, sometimes 3 times a year we would take day trips to Savannah and do flowers at everyone’s gravesites. Something I NEVER imagined doing for Trey. But, something we both enjoyed. We would always enjoy the day - good food, good people. We had started making a stop by Susan to see her and Juanita(to say Juanita properly according to trey - you pronounce it almost like ‘wall-Nita’) Trey thoroughly enjoyed Juanita, and listening to her stories about her sister-Treys grandmother, and Thomas(Johnnies problem child(Tommy)). Juanitas face would get all flabbergasted explaining Tommy and his shenanigans. Trey loved it. And she always told us to go to her fridge and get something to drink. I loved those trips. Sometimes we would get to se the Kubistas, but usually we saw Ashley. Trey loved her store on Whittaker.
Juanita passed on August 5, 2019 and after her service on our drive to Elijay for the weekend and Trey worried that he would be next. That’s really the only time that Trey ever mentioned such things. He knew I would fly off the handle - and I remember then it was a very sobering thought. He changed the reminder in our phones to include a new set of flowers for Juanita Every-time we went to savannah.
That was our last trip to Savannah.
In May of 2020(2 months after Trey passed on) on the way back home from across the country I made flowers at Missy’s in Atlanta...and benton drove me to Savannah - and we took Treys remains and Put out flowers together one last time for the summer. Benton and I went down last winter as well to put out Christmas flowers. It’s just something we always did. And there’s no way I can stop. I only ever knew Frank(Brendas Father) and Mary Ann(Tommy’s sister) and Juanita(Tommy’s Aunt/Susan’s mother). But, for 23 years I’ve known Johnnie(Tommy’s mother), Mary(MoMo-Brendas Morher) Myrtle, and FE(Tommy’s Aunt and Uncle)
Some traditions are so easy to carry on.