First off, I have to apologize. My mind skips all over...so this all seems very random. I’m just trying to get all of my feelings out as they randomly come to me.
Charleston really is a small town - playing dress up as a big girl. Everywhere you turn there’s a flood of memories, a living slide show of life. You can’t walk around Charleston without seeing memories of the past, including yours.
Marion Square - where we worked at the farmers market, and Trey fell in love with Beauregard(showing him off as a puppy); King Street - the countless walks and shopping, hours and hours at Croghans, Trey couldn’t walk past the Apple store without going in; Charleston place for a salad, or to people watch; down to the market for black soap. Wandering down the streets on ghost walks, trying out all the new restaurants, Trey talking to total strangers like he had always known them. Birthday dinners at McCradys, Peninsula Grill, Chez Nous to the other end flounder at Marina Variety Store, burgers at Your Place, Chocolate Martinis at Charlie’s little Bar. Walking the Battery, where you can meet Mrs Corey - that had to drive her old beat up station wagon or get her hair done in North Charleston...because it rains up there, and she don’t want her top of the line brand new BMW convertible to leak in her new hair...or when you go at the right time you can still see all of the house help still leaving for the day, headed home.
Charleston is a different world.
And everywhere I turn there’s another memory of Trey, of the past, of something that used to be.
But, then I stop to think about it-that’s everywhere for everybody. The Holy City isn’t the magical memory box-everywhere is. Charleston just happens to be one of mine.
Anyhow I got all distracted...
Trying not to think about... - what I started to write about.
I’m sitting here at the corner of Smith Street and Calhoun. Just looking at the city I’ve always loved. Noticing the power lines, cable, and telephone lines that litter the streets...and noticing how my mind always seems to filter those out. Then I start to think about where I am-Persimmon cafe was right across the street, they had the best sandwiches(and if you wanted you could do your laundry as well)...the day Of Brendas Big surgery I had ordered sandwiches from there(crab&chicken) to be delivered to us at the hospital, which is two blocks away. My primary care physician is in the next block over...they have the smallest parking lot ever, but the car always fits.
And then it hits me, just like it always does. Right there in the building-third window down on the right - first floor is the last place I ever saw Trey.
Que the waterworks...and all the emotions that I literally was Just texting Missy about...saying that I feel like I have turned a corner...they’re all back. All within 2.3 seconds.
Never try to figure out, understand, or rush your feelings-they don’t work like that.
The file center in my brain goes insane. Everything to do with the Stuhr Family, the house at Sullivan’s, the Spectator Hotel, the house on the battery - the tables set up for the owners bridge club...everything Charleston.
Like many people we know, she was Charleston. She had her finger on the pulse of the battery, and Sullivan’s...if it moved she knew. She is one of those southern women in the movies.
That day. It was early. Really early. My alarm had gone off-it was time for the morning meds...they were given every 4 hours. That was the most horrible thing, and I could not do it. I made Benton, and I always held Treys hand and talked to him.
The night before I have no idea what came over me. But I told Trey I would be okay, and that I loved him. I just kept saying that over and over, I think trying to convince my self it was going to be okay. Benton came in to check on me, and I told him he had better say goodbye to Trey as well. He did, and told Trey he was going to keep his promise snd make sure that I would always be okay. Me, and Beauregard. He squeezed both of our hands, and relaxed ever so slightly. He fell asleep.
Hours later getting up for Medicine I knew. I walked in the room and saw Beauregard.
I think all I said was ‘call Tommy, not Brenda’
I have never handled death well. Ever. At my aunt Donna’s I could not see her, and at any funeral after that I could not, would not be around until the casket was closed. I remember at Trey grandfathers funeral everyone saying how good he looked, and talking to Aunt MaryAnn about how I could not look. And she tried to lighten the mood and said well then at mine I’ll have to look like a clown so you can look. Nope. Not happening.
With Trey it was almost like I was waiting on him to be like JUST KIDDING, or for something, anything. I just sat there with Beauregard in total darkness.
The nurse showed up a bit later, and asked me to leave the room. I did, and called Beauregard. He was not moving. He stayed right there and would not move.
She did her nurse things, and called Stuhr’s Funeral home. She kept me distracted going through all of Treys medicines and cataloging everything and asking random questions. I heard the bedroom door open, and everything stopped.
All I could hear was Beauregard’s tippy tally feet. Following Trey.
He walked him down the sidewalk, and sat at the end of the walkway. He sat and watched until they were gone. Then he got up and made his way to the porch and we just sat there together in silence.
It was barely after 6am.
Somehow at some point all of the medical equipment was picked up and gone.
Trey went on a Charleston tour. They took him to North Charleston, and I about had a breakdown...and let them know no way. No way in hell. Take him downtown. I wanted to make sure he was in CHARLESTON - at Johnny Stuhr’s. So they would move him downtown.
Good. I was happy.
Somehow it was lunch time. Tommy and Brenda brought over lunch. I think I ate one bite of chicken for an hour. We all headed down to Stuhr
It was a Wednesday, and already the weirdest day of my life. But, there was NO ONE out. At all. It was like the hustle and bustle of Charleston was all on pause for Trey.
I don’t think I grasped what was going on in the rest of the world for awhile. Covid had literally stopped the world while I was totally focused on Trey.
I just remember seeing parts of Stuhr funeral home I had never seen, and think what in the hell are we doing here? This is everything I was trying to avoid. sitting across the Table from the Strocks, having to see their pain, this is my worst nightmare happening right here. I remember writing the obituary all together, and I wanted North Charleston taken out. I don’t know why that was so important to me at that moment but it was. I remember Tommy talking about Treys little feet when they brought him home, and how they worked with them over and over to get them corrected. I remember trying to not cry(that was an Epic failure-still is) and then I remember them asking if any of us would like to see Trey.
Normally I fade into the background and hide. But YES I need to see him. I need to make sure he is alright, and I need to be sure he is here, and not North Charleston.
He was fine. Had the same smirk on his face that let me know he was okay and that he was with all of his family, and Johnny had lemon poppyseed hot and ready for him.
That little smirk let me know everything was going to be okay, and that Trey was good. All I have to do is think about that smirk, and it puts me in a better place.