I remember it was sunny, warm Unseasonably so for March in New Jersey. I had gone for a pedicure and a movie with my friends.
I remember a voicemail from my dad, thanking me for his birthday gift that had just arrived. "I just wanted to call and tell you thanks for the gift. Remember that I love you more than anything. Thanks again." I called him back, we chatted a few minutes. I was just about to get on the Jersey Turnpike so I promised to call him back when I was home.
I remember calling back a couple hours later. No answer. I called again later. Nothing.
I remember I was working that night, a Saturday. Most of my nanny friends were working that night, too. The Crowley's were going to a party. I put their kiddos to bed, except for Edie, the 2 year old, who always resisted.
I remember Katie calling the Crowley's land line. She never called the land line. Weird. She asked me if I was alone. Except for Edie, I was. "Call someone to come over and then call me back." I begged her to just tell me, she wouldn't.
I remember calling all of my nanny friends. No one's employer's were home. I started to panic. After an hour, Jodi called to let me know her employers would be home soon and she would be right over.
I remember she came over. I called Katie. Katie spoke to Jodi first and I watched her try to keep her expression calm. I wanted to vomit.
I remember standing in the Kitchen doorway with Jodi as she handed me the phone. "I hate to be the one to tell you this, but dad killed himself tonight."
I remember crumbling to the floor in sobs and screams. Edie began to cry. I tried to call the Crowley's to come home and could not catch my breath to utter a word. Jodi took the phone, scooped up Edie and told them what happened as I sank to the floor, my body racked with sobs.
I remember everything moving in warp speed. Jodi must have called everyone there who cared about me because my friends started showing up one by one, my bishop, a few of our guy friends in the ward.
I remember sitting on the ottoman, holding myself, rocking back and forth. Charlie rushed in as he and Liz came how and scooped me up in a hug that felt like saved me life, telling me over and over there was nothing I could have done, nothing I could have done, nothing I could have done... A phrase I'd hear over and over for years to come, but somehow it only meant anything right then. It was in there home I needed to be right then.
I remember receiving a blessing. Charlie booked me a flight home. People came in and out. I don't know how much time passed....a long time to be sure...before everyone started to go home, except for Jodi and Cheryl.
I remember being afraid to go to sleep, thinking that somehow the horror of that night would swallow me whole and I would never recover. Jodi, Cheryl and I sat on the living room couch well into the early morning hours. They turned on a movie for distraction. Sometime around 4 am, they drifted off to sleep and I crept downstairs to my room and packed my bags.
Everything for weeks following is mostly a blur, I don't remember much else. Which is a blessing, I think. I do remember that even though it felt as if every fragment of my life had been hopelessly and completely broken, I felt overwhelmingly loved. It was a completely encompassing love I could physically feel pouring out of the hearts of others and into my own. As I sit here 10 years later, I realize that I can still feel that love. Not just because the feeling was so powerful, but because it is still there.