13 Pavements

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Remembering 3/13/04

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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Sister. That was a touching post. You are a strong woman!