Okay, so, I promise not to wallow, but I at least want to the share the story of my sister's crushing night. Then, I promise, I will be on to laughing, ranting, raving and joking. Just bear with me as I can't seem to quite move on from the memories. Here's the piece I wrote in my journal not long after the accident.
Well……… my sister got the call. You know - THE call. I think any parent of a teenage driver knows what call I’m talking about. The call that deep in the dark recesses of our heart we expect; the call that comes in the middle of a dark, quiet night; the call we dread with all our hearts.
“This is the police. Your son has been involved in an accident. We’re on our way over to your house.”
I got the call from HER the next morning.
“D. This is Karen. You need to sit down. Are you sitting down? Can you sit? Hey, Robbie was killed in a car accident last night. Yes. Yes. No, I’m not. It’s true.” The rest of the conversation, I have to admit, is a bit foggy. I remember some screaming, lot of crying, and then thinking……
“She called me herself??? How can she function?”
The horrible truth of the matter is, I realize now, you do function. You take the next breath, and time does not stop. How can that be? How can it be that the world continues to revolve? It just doesn’t seem right. Frankly, it isn’t fair, either. The worst possible thing that can happen to a parent has happened, but time keeps on.
I try to gather my thoughts. Who do I call? - my brother, my aunts, maybe just one cousin who can do the other calls? How do I tell my own kids that their 16-year-old cousin, close in age to them, whom their very close to, has been killed?
The children were told, the calls were made, and the tears began. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. I remember crying in my husband’s arms, my heart broken for the sweet life cut short - my heart broken for the loss of a bright shining spirit - my heart broken for my sister who was bearing an unspeakable sorrow. My heart is broken, also, for the brother and sister left behind trying to comfort their parents during this ordeal.
I remember the phone calls from an aunt, and an uncle, trying to clarify the details of the accident. I remember a visit from a friend bearing coffee, muffins and comfort.
Then both of us, mothers of 16 year-old drivers, sat in my kitchen and cried for the woman we both know, we both love, the woman coping, the woman grieving, the woman who received “the call”.