Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tony Lee Hayes

This is a cousin of mine who passed away on February 28. He was true believer of God and I know he is in heaven now. While on earth, he was mentally handicapped. Now, he is perfected. He was a friendly, loving guy who would hug your neck and he was never judgmental of anybody and never cared what people may say about him. The funeral was today at the church his family now attends, the Ninth Street Baptist Church. It was a beautiful ceremony. I remember the last time I saw him. It was at Aunt Adeline's birthday, more like a family reunion among relatives I know from the mother's side of the family. He was excited like a child would be and happy to be there with people he loves. During the time, he was 52 years old. He was in good health physically, but mentally he was getting worse. He was able some years ago to take care of himself. But, later on, something was happening to him. His parents, my uncle and my aunt, had to find someone to take care of him. They agreed to take him away from home to live at a ranch in Jay, Oklahoma. After they agreed to do that, I knew something was up. They wanted him to be happy and where he was happiest was to live at a ranch where there are livestock. I imagine that's the case, but I also imagine he missed his loved ones back home. Time went on until my father received a phone call from my uncle that Tony passed away. He died from pneumonia. Before this happened, I had a feeling of what was going to become of Tony.

The eulogy made by his nephew, Adam, was beautiful. He was like a playmate to Adam when Adam was a child. I remember when he was like a child to his siblings until his siblings got older. I remember he hated the rock music that was blaring out of Rick's stereo when his family were all living in southern California. He cared about them and prayed for them, prayed that they would get away from evil. Adam's story of Tony pretty much summed up what Tony was all about. Nobody else stood up to give their reflections. Adam knew him better. I only remember him from my past further on down. My uncle was very proud of his grandson, Adam, for standing up to say a few words. The pastor conducting this ceremony was A.J. Parish, pastor of the Ninth Street Baptist Church. He was a former county coroner of Sebastian County. It is nice that I have relatives who attend this church. This is a traditional, African-American church, but more importantly, it is a God-believing church and the presence of God is there. His immediate family will miss Tony and I will miss him, too. May God Bless his family.

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