Mom sent me an email on Friday afternoon. "Jimmy's dead," she wrote. I'm not sure why she thinks it's okay to send this kind of news in an email.
I grew up next door to Jimmy. We raised worms in my backyard. We played Mad Libs in his tree house. Then, his family moved to a rural town to further Jimmy's career in vermiculture. We lost touch, but recently we've been able to reconnect through email.
Shocked from the email, I called Dad. He sounded awful. "Dad, I just heard the news," I said. "Which news?" Dad asked. I wondered how many people had died that day. Before I could clarify, Dad had to get off the phone. He was taking it pretty hard.
I read Mom's email again. She said that they were going to the "reviewal" on Sunday. I don't know what a reviewal is. Viewing, wake, review, and revival are all words that I know. But, a reviewal is new to me. Jimmy's family must be Lutheran.
At the reviewal, mom looked for Jimmy's mother, but couldn't find her anywhere. Instead, Mom told some of the ladies there a story about the time that Jimmy and I took a bath together after playing in the rain. The ladies gave her a strange look and backed away. Mom shrugged it off and went to pay her last respects to Jimmy. The man in the coffin was 90 years old and not at all how she remembered Jimmy. After having a few more cookies and a cup of coffee, Mom went home. She sent me an email:
"Okay, well James Broussard died, not James Braswell. I think that's sad, don't you? Good ole James Broussard--I kinda wish I had taken the time to get to know him, ya know? Anyway, yay for Jimmy who is probably still alive."
I wish I hadn't sent that sympathy card to Jimmy's mom.