Saturday, March 13, 2010
One Day in 1988
Most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we received shocking or important news. What important event can you remember all the details about, and how did this news affect you?
I could relate a more major event, such as the 911 attacks, or JFK assassination and how, what, when, where and why, but I think I will write about the day my mother died. This is etched deeply in my memory and I remember every vivid detail as though it happened yesterday, not 21 years ago April 30th, 1988.
I awoke that day from a disturbing dream about my brother, father and I riding on an old fashioned funeral wagon. I thought it was disturbing, but expected it to be one of those men instead of my mother who passed later that day.
I got ready to go to my college course to take my final exam. This was my last class and I would graduate finally with my bachelors degree from college. At thirty two, I was "old" and with a nine year old daughter, and a two year old son, a mother who had remarried for the third time. Alex, my two year old was with his dad, and my daughter Katie was home alone until her grandparents would come to pick her up for the day, soon after I left for school.
I was in my class and a young student came to the room asking for me in the midst of my final exam. I went to the hallway and the man told me to call my ex-husband at his house. I thought something had happened to my son, so immediately went to the pay phone in the hallway. My ex-husband indicated he had recieved a call from my daughter who told him her grampie called looking for me. He was at the hospital and needed to talk to me, as my mother had been"admitted". I thanked him, and askedhim to go pick up my daughter, so she would not be alone.
My quarters were inserted into the telephone and I asked to speak to the emergency room. Soon after a nurse answered and put my dad on the phone. The only words out of his mouth were " she's gone Alice". This was incomprehensible to me. Gone? I thought she was admitted to the hospital. Dad said he had to tell my daughter that to get her to call me, and of course, would never tell her she was dead. My dad's voice cracked. I was now worried about him driving back home without my mother at his side. He was unable to speak any longer, and I told him I would meet him at the apartment.
Walking back to the classroom was a surreal experience. I asked my teacher to step into the hallway and told him the news. He told me not to worry about the final, that we would have time to finish it later. I got my things and drove to my parents place. What would we do now? Hoe does one wrap their brain around this? I called my ex and told him I would pick up Katie soon, but my mother was gone, and my dad was my top priority.
Dad walked up the walkway, holding mothers green raincoat and one shoe. The other had been lost in the Doctors office when mom dropped dead from a massive heart attack. Dad was inconsolable. I was in charge. Everyone had to be called, arrangements had to be made, but how could I do all of this when my dear mother lie cold in some hospital freezer awaiting Monday to be transferred over state lines to the funeral home?
Numb. I was numb. Strong and numb. And grasping my dad, I asked him to make certain he would not leave me! This was too much to bear and yet we all must face these times in our lives and there is no warning....except maybe some prophetic dreams we have that seem to be indications something is on its way to our outside world as a warning of things to come!
And those moments are etched in my psyche forever and ever and ever..........