The other day after work I ran up to Winnfield Funeral home for brother Ed Buggs' viewing. Being conscious of looking and smelling like I worked with small children and road in a car without airconditioning on a typical south Louisiana day in May soon disappeared inside the place. It was not an atmosphere of sadness as many people from Mount Pilgrim were mingled among others who were paying their respects including Ed's brother Clarence and their mom, Mrs. Buggs. In our church family, they are Sister and Brother Buggs so of course this is a time of church family rallying together for support.
I knew Ed as Edward Buggs from school when we attended Southern University Lab School until junior high. Back then I didn't know Clarence or their sister whom Sister Buggs speaks of all the time as she goes to visit her in Florida. She is a physician who lives near where I used to live when I was there--and intelligent, pretty woman as one would expect, being in this family.
Sister Buggs is a strong spiritual presence, a woman of God who raised her children "in the way they should go." In that way, and in that she is an excellent cook, reminds my husband of his mom who raised him in church. After his troubles in Vietnam and the personal aftermath he returned to his mom's upbringing.Thus, my husband has claimed Sister Buggs as one of his church moms.
As I approached the receiving line, Brother Clarence was the first to greet me as I clasped his hands, he gave me a big hug with that big grin and said, "My church! My church!" He asked me before I could ask him, "How ya doing, dear?"
"I'm fine," I said, rather taken by surprise. "But I'm sad, today."
"Oh, don't you be sad!" he said. "You know whose you are and Ed knew whose he was. So you know where we'll all meet up again. We're gonna see that big head again!"
"You're right. You're right," I said.
In the background, on a large screen videos of Ed's news reports played. He sat smiling at the news desk he shared with co-anchor Andrea Clesi. Next scene: Ed weathering out the hurricane. He was spectacular in whatever assignment he was given and some of them were not pleasant. It could not have been always pleasant to be the first news anchor of African descent in this city that is not known for a very progressive nature. But he paved the way for those who came after him. My husband is addicted to Clarence's radio show.
Selfishly, I'd want to see more of Ed on TV and hear from him on the radio with his brother. But I know Clarence is right. So this is not "Good-bye." See ya later, Ed!