Most of my high school friends had no clue what my story was until several years ago. In 1982 I lost my mother and my family. By 1987 I was alone and scared. September 1987 I attended Blinn College and in two weeks I had a “didn’t say yes but didn’t say no” situation when my 80 something lbs body got wasted on a half a wine cooler and it was followed up a week later by one of the biggest studs on campus raping me. My life from 1982 to 1988 was a silent nightmare.
Meeting my husband, Rob in December 1988 was a fresh start, a new lifetime for me. As my mother’s death signified the end of one lifetime, the death of Wayne K. McIntosh signified the end of another.
A New Lifetime
I view the time between my mother’s death (1982) and meeting Rob (1988) somewhat like the 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and New Testament. When I met Rob, that silence ended. Rob was a packaged deal. He came with the “fellas”. a group of guys that thought way too much of themselves, dressed nice and partied clean — no drugs, no smokes, no alcohol.
The fellas, the fellas, the fellas. That is what I heard all the time. While Rob was in school I would see him maybe one day every other week.
They callously serenaded girlfriends with their “We were friends before we met you and we’ll be friends after you’re gone” usually followed with their “I am not cheap, I am just economical” mantras.
While I loved the bond between these guys, sometimes the bromance was a bit much. Still, it was a nice thing to witness. These guys could not stand the pretense of the fraternity brotherhood so they started their own. The Choice Fly Guys (CFGs). The CFGs main gathering was the McIntosh basement. Wayne’s childhood home.
The McIntosh Home
There was so many key things that happened around the McIntosh home. The McIntosh basement was the meeting place. The “fellas” went to the McIntosh basement almost daily, like they had some religious ceremony going on. Who knows maybe it had something to do with their “custom-made” fraternity.
There was some key milestones met in that McIntosh basement. I started new friendships. Saw girlfriends come and go. It also became the cornerstone of my relationship with CFG #4 (Rob)
It was in front the McIntosh home was where Rob and my relationship came to the crossroads of “do we stay together or do we go our separate ways?” It was about a week before my birthday and after not seeing Rob for two weeks, he decided that we needed to make a stop before our date … you guessed it he wanted to stop by and see the fellas at Wayne’s house! GRRRRRRR!
He parked in front the house and muttered that he’d be right back. Time slowly passed and at the same time my blood went from simmering to boiling! THIS WAS IT!
As my soon-to-be ex-boyfriend came trotting out about an hour later. He jumped in the car and said okay “Let’s go!” AS IF!
I let him have it! Unladylike words and accusations flew out my mouth. This was it! I told him I was no longer willing to share the two hours every two weeks that I got with HIS friends. I was for sure this was it. Besides, my intention was never to get so serious with someone, anyway.
One week later I received a beautiful ring and a card that said “If you can’t see it in my eyes, if you can’t hear it in my voice, If you can’t tell when I am around you, Jowanna Parris I love you.”
Finding Friendship Again
Over the years things happened. But the fellas was always there. It was one of the fellas that encouraged Rob and I to make up when we had our first argument. It was the fellas that made up my wedding party. It was one of the fellas, Wayne McIntosh himself that took pictures at my wedding.
Rob was the first of the guys that married. He no longer was able to hang out as often. But rest assure, when I threw Rob a surprise birthday party, the fellas were there.
I remember Wayne was there for us to help us out. For a while, he and Rob’s friendship became estranged for a short period, through no fault of Wayne. In the same manner that the fellas encouraged Rob and me to stay together, I made sure that my husband set the relationship right.
Every time I visited New York, I looked forward to visiting Wayne. I admired his strength, his love for his boys and his dedication to friends. Wayne had every reason to not work, get on social security and live life like it was his last day for everyday that Wayne lived was a borrowed day.
Wayne was the most fiscally responsible of his friends. No, Wayne was the most fiscally responsible person I have ever known. Yet he did live. He traveled all over the world. Yet there was not a time where we would not see how “economical” Wayne was. At his memorial service, one of the fellas recalled the fact that Wayne would stop and drink at every water fountain. When asked why he would do that, Wayne would respond “Because it’s free!”.
The things this man went through while being sick would bring a healthy man to his knees. The things this man did during his life would make Samson look like a weak man.
God created man and named him Wayne “Dave” Kenroy McIntosh. If my boys turn out to be half the man Wayne was, they will be outstanding young men.
Farewell, my sweet friend
This is a hard loss. It signifies an end of an era and the beginning of a new one. I know that as I get older more of these moments will happen than not. I embrace my sadness because there are no regrets.
I am so happy that he’s not in pain yet I am sad that I won’t see my friend in the physical form again. I am even sadder for his young children. I am happy for the memories and will share as many stories with his children as I can.
Farewell, my sweet friend until we meet again.