April 6th 2005
This was the first call.
I was supposed to take my cousin to my sister’s house but I was running late. I called my sister to see if she could come pick her up. She agreed without hesitation, then went on and on about her day. I was annoyed. Running late for class I didn’t have time to listen. She finally hung up and I ran out the door.
The sirens made their way through town around 11am, but I didn’t really hear them.
I had gone home for lunch and was sitting at the kitchen table eating a taco salad.
The phone rang.
“There has been an accident along this route and it looks like your sisters van, was she going out that way?”
Only because I had asked her to.
I couldn’t find the scene on the route I always took, so I decided to check the hospital. The ambulance and I pulled up at the same time. I was shaking so bad, begging for it not to be so. I ran up to the back of the ambulance, ‘I think that’s my sister in there,’ I said.
Then I heard my nephews crying.
‘We have 2 little boys here, could you identify them?’ They opened the doors…. I had to turn away….. It was them, bruised beyond recognition.
I couldn’t remember their names. It’s them I said, ‘but where is my sister?’
The look on the EMT’s face said it all. She’s not here, he said…….. ‘I’m really sorry but……. she didn’t make it.’
What did he mean she didn’t make it?! That had never happened in our family before. That only ever happened to other people.
I stood there stunned. Staring into space. Suddenly needing a bucket… and then my feet gave out.
I came back to it, lying on a bed in the hospital.
‘We need you to be strong, we need to contact her husband.’ Ugh, another wave. Her husband?! Bucket, get me that bucket.
My sister was dead. No longer breathing. No longer there to take care of her 4 children or love her husband.
Why hadn’t I just taken my cousin over there?!
I called my brother in law. Told him to come to the hospital, something had happened. I wanted to hold him when the truth hit him. I couldn’t hold him up.
Somehow your body breaks with your heart.
Then the oldest 2 kids. They were in school. How do you tell a child their mom is gone?! Forever.
That hallway was so cold. Their little eyes so worried.
Then my parents. Their oldest child gone. Dad was mad and started throwing blame around. Momma just cried. Big heart broken sobs.
This was the start of what my life is now.
I hear sirens now. Every. Single. Time. Really hear them.
I haven’t eaten a taco salad since. I’ve tried. I can’t. I see them and every emotion from that day comes back like it just happened.
This first call came and went before I knew the real Jesus. How people do death without Him is beyond me. The worst indescribable feeling I’ve felt yet.
Most thankful I have him now.
He tells me it’s not because I called her. My heart knows that but my head still fights that.
Always take the time to listen to your loved ones blab on, would you please?
Until next time,