Where Were You When….?
Funny how your memory works. Some things can be crystal clear, and others are a hazy cloud. Do you remember last Thanksgiving? What you wore? Who you sat by? How about dinner last night? Breakfast this morning?
One memory I’ll never lose is November 23, 2007. What started as a fabulous fun-filled day turned into the biggest nightmare of my life. And I can remember every last detail.
It was the day after Thanksgiving. My family was preparing for a family photo shoot since everyone was in town. The bathroom at my parents’ house was a hustle and bustle of curling irons, makeup, and voices. We moved furniture, met the photographer, checked ourselves one last time, and became models.
The girls buzzed in during the ruckus right when we were ready. I remembered what they wore, jokes we made, who stood by whom…everything. Our small family poses were done a little after 11:30, and the girls were ready to head home. Jessica had to work, and drop Kelli off at home on the way. Hugs and “I love you”s were shared along with the ‘Drive safely”. Who knew the last good-bye was going to mean forever.
We all got on with the day shortly afterwards. Brian was called into work, my sister-in-laws went shopping, and I went for a walk. I remember thanking God for the beautiful weather, the awesome family time, and the many blessings we had. And then about 4:00 the walls started crumbling.
My brother mentioned there was a big accident on the highway (he had been called into work also) and wondered if Brian knew. Little taps of anxiety began in my brain. Nah.. everyone left HOURS before anything happened. Surely everyone was safe. But I called Brian just in case.
Then at 5:00 the awful news came in. Brian had just heard from Kim, and he called me, weeping with such anguish in his voice, to tell me. And the world stopped. The surreal became my reality.
The rest is all seen in black and white: Telling my parents. Calling Brian’s parents in Kansas. How to tell Tony and the other kids. Hours of stunned silence and unrestrained sobbing. Waiting for it to be a bad, bad, joke. But the punch line never came.
The following 6 weeks are a blur. I remember the visitation, the funeral, and lots of tears. I don’t remember much else until after the New Year.
So, where were you when….?