June 6, 2010. 3 years ago today. Just thinking about it creates a lump in my throat.
4 days after my brother signed to play college baseball.
2 days after he graduated high school.
1 day after his open house.
That morning I woke up early and headed an hour and a half north to a softball tournament for a 10 & under team that I was helping coach. I had talked Danny into sitting through 1, possibily 2 games. Thank God I did. We lost the 1st game and were done around 10:30 or 11am. Thank God we did. Danny and I got in the car and headed back home. We were driving out in the country, making shapes out of the clouds in the sky and having a great time. I had no idea what was about to rock my world.
I got a text from my brother that read something along the lines of "get home now" My mind immediately went to my Grammy and that she had a heart attack or something. I texted him back and said what is going on. 10 minutes went by and I never got a response. That was unlike Drew so I decided to call. I was very shocked when it was Grammy who answered. As soon as I heard her voice I knew who it was that was in trouble.
She asked how much longer til I was home. I said "an hour, what's wrong." She said she'd tell me when I got there. I said "no you're going to tell me now" She responded that she didn't want to tell me while I was driving. I assured her that Danny was driving and she was going to tell me what was wrong right now. Again she told me no. Again I told her "yes you will"
She finally caved and said "Your dad is gone"
And life as I knew it was over.
It was like my mind intentionally interpreted the words wrong to spare my heart the pain for another second or 2 and before I knew it the words "where is he" came pouring out of my mouth. Her answer was "he's dead." What was said after that, I can't tell you. I don't remember.
What I do remember is struggling to tell Danny what happened as he demanded to know. I couldn't say the words. I finally got them out and started screaming. I screamed, kicked what I could, cursed, and cried. I don't know how long it lasted. I just know the hour long drive home felt like 6. Danny drove a consistent 85 mph home, passing cars in the left hand turn lane when necessary and got me home as soon as he could. I'm not sure he would have stopped if a cop tried to pull us over.
I was jumping out of the car while we were coming to a stop. I had to get to my brother. I had a gut feeling he was the one who found him and I was right. Being a protective big sister, if there is one thing I could change about that day, with the exception of bringing my dad back of course, it would have been me that found him. Not Drew.
Losing a parent is hard. If its expected or unexpected. If you're younger or older. If you're close or not close. Its hard. It sucks. And its the worst thing I've ever experienced.
This is the first time I've actually relived that day. I think about it very often, but never from beginning to end. As soon as I start to think about it, I stop myself. I don't like to "talk" about it, but I think writing about it helps. And someday, I'll write about why my life changed because of all this. That would require a series of posts. I'm not kidding you, the first year and a half after my dad's death was a whirlwind rollercoaster. Now that I'm ready to put it into words, it's going to take a while to sort it out.