Bubba was hit by a car…

When I picked up my phone that night about 9:30 I looked at the caller I.D. and wondered why Missy would be calling me before I pushed the button and said hello.

From the shake in her voice I slowed my brain down trying to repeat every word I had just heard… “Street Mary just called, Bubba’s been hit by a car on Veterans Parkway.”

Because of my personality and also because over the past 6 and a half years of damning words such as these I calmly asked her to tell me what she knew. She explained to me that Street Mary was on her bike and was on her way to the gas station. In front of the gas station were police cars and an ambulance. Because of the area of town we all  tend to slow down just to make sure the emergency personnel aren’t there for one of our own.

Mary parked her bike and saw Black Timmy so she ran over to him and asked what happened. She could see from where she was standing that several feet down the road a body was being loaded into an ambulance as Timmy explained it was Bubba and the police need his real name not his street name. That’s why Mary called Missy…

Missy gave her Bubba’s given name; Derick Spencer, and Mary relayed the information to an officer standing close by. Over the years we tried to collect as much information about all the men and women on the streets. Many times we are the only ones that know their true names.

You can guess why street names are used. Sometimes it’s because they are wanted by the police from another state. More times than not it is just because it’s a name that seems to stick! I suppose which is why Derick became “Bubba.” It stuck with him, with the men on the streets and it stuck with us.

Because we know Bubba’s cousin (who is a close friend of ours that pastors a church in our town) I told Freddie what I knew and he called Randy.

Missy was still on the phone with me while the call to Randy was being made from another phone and for about 3-5 minutes I sat down on my bed as I listened to my dear friend sob on the other line. All I could think as she cried was “Here we go again…help us Dear God to make it just one more time…”

Bubba didn’t make it, I heard later. From all the information I had I didn’t think he would. Timmy and Bubba were crossing 6 lanes of traffic. They were almost to the center, Timmy was maybe 3 feet behind him and a car came from nowhere… “she hit Bubba” Timmy said.

Details are really not worth repeating and would serve no purpose. Our friend and a member of our church is gone.

I have sat many hours up at the hospital with Don recalling the details that led up to Bubba’s accident. All the “what if’s” have played over and over yet nothing will allow me to reach back in time in order for me to yell out for Bubba to “Look OUT!!!!”

Timmy said he kept telling Bubba to watch the light, watch the light. Keep your eye on the light. They were being extra careful that night. From all accounts, they did everything right. Bubba had a fast quick walk, Timmy has bad feet…he was slower.

Don looks over at me sitting at the end of his hospital bed. He doesn’t stay awake much anymore. A feeding tube is run through his nose, bags of fluids are being pumped into his frail body. I sometimes look at him with a smile and think, “You don’t even know Bubba’s gone Don, you have no clue.”

I also wonder “what day am I coming up here to find you gone…”

Today Missy was sitting with me at the end of  Don’s bed. I told my friend I was tired. I didn’t need to explain, she understood as my sentences were carried away in the silence of his room. I hate seeing Don like this and I hate coming up and never seeing good, but bad. I miss Bubba and I wish it hadn’t happened…

Dons eye opened and I stood up and walked over to him, I bent over so we could look eye to eye. I told my friend that it was OK if he felt it was time to let go. That I understood he was tired. I reminded him about the day he ended up at the hospital. How we were at his camp and he wanted to pray. He reminded God to look at his heart and not at what he does.

I whispered to my buddy that our God does….

I looked back at Missy and I could see she was crying. I asked her to explain, as I reached out and touched her shoulder. She could only motion to Don and I understood.

I sat back down in my chair at the end of the bed and touched my wonderful friends tears and thanked her for crying for us all…

Missy reminds me often that “this” is what we do. God will continue to give us the grace to move forward. I always seem to sigh a big sigh because I do know that she is correct. His Grace is sufficient for me.

We walked to Dons door and one more time told him we loved him. I like to believe he understands…

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One Response to “Bubba was hit by a car…”

  1. So Bubba is gone. I recognize him from the picture on your blog. My prayers are with you all as you go through this one more time.


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