Moms

The beginning revisited

So many details of this day are etched in my mind and burned into my heart. I trust that these memories will blur and fade over time, but the pain born of this experience has exacted a toll which will always be known. It has altered me in a way that I cannot begin to explain.
So many details of this day are etched in my mind and burned into my heart. I trust that these memories will blur and fade over time, but the pain born of this experience has exacted a toll which will always be known. It has altered me in a way that I cannot begin to explain.

We are all the sum of our experiences, and yet I cannot say I have fully accepted who I’ve become. The process of assimilating that single moment of time is an ongoing process…the ways we’ve changed continue to surprise me with their subtlety, seven years later.

It isn’t possible to prepare for such a thing as this… I believe it is for the best that we cannot see into the future; even the slightest glimpse of a life so drastically different would cause panic and paralysis and a herculean effort to avoid what lies ahead, however futile that would be.

Trust me, you are better off not knowing…

In the coming weeks I will revisit my original posts and share my thoughts from here and now, as the seventh anniversary of losing Brian fills my horizon…

The beginning didn’t seem like one at the time…

So many details of this day are etched in my mind and burned into my heart. I trust that these memories will blur and fade over time, but the pain born of this experience has exacted a toll which will always be known. It has altered me in a way that I cannot begin to explain.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 began as another ordinary day. Summer was officially here, as evidenced by the early morning humidity and my children’s immediate nocturnal transformation. I had no strict schedule to keep-tennis in the morning, a little work at home in the afternoon, and a swim meet that evening. My only real goal for the day was thwarting the teenage tag team still sleeping upstairs. I could sense the spider webs of scheme and strategy, designed to evade and elude my mommy radar. Their spirit of unity and purpose had me on red-alert status, and summer had only just begun. I could feel my hair turning gray already. Without a doubt, sleep deprivation was on my horizon. I thought about sticking my head in Brian’s room (his door was cracked open ever so slightly) to see if he was up, but decided against it; no need to make him aware that I was really paying attention to the details, so to speak…

Change had already begun to assert itself. We finished tennis clinic early and were short a person for doubles play afterward, so we called it quits, and skipped our customary lunch. While sitting on the deck to cool down, I told my friends of my suspicions. “If I make it through the summer without killing Brian or Grace or both, or becoming an alcoholic, it will be a miracle!” They found this statement particularly funny, since I am known to seldom drink anything stronger than sweet tea. I left Pine Lake and decided to see where John was in his day, thinking we could grab a sandwich. He actually finished his work early, and was at Food Lion contemplating varieties of fish sticks, wanting to get home to watch the U.S Open. Yuck! I was having no part of that. After a brief discussion (really it was more like I’m going there with or without you), chicken salad at Mint Hill Grill & Deli trumped Gorton’s. For the second consecutive Thursday we were having lunch, a rare occurrence on Thursdays for almost three years. One week prior, we spent the morning finalizing the purchase of Brian’s car. A big change occurred on that day. We handed Brian his freedom and our control, all in the passing of two small keys and a Honda key ring.

We ordered our sandwiches and sat down with a couple of sweet teas, enjoying the air conditioning and the fact that we got in ahead of the crowd. Almost immediately, John’s phone rang. He walked outside; I simply assumed that the call was work-related and that reception was bad. Minutes later, he returned, but not to our table. Instead, John walked to the counter, spoke to an employee, and started walking back toward the door. He looked across the room, speaking to me over the crowd, “We have to go NOW”. Out of habit, I grabbed our drinks and bolted after him, wondering, what exactly has happened?

As I hustled to catch up with him, he answered my unstated question, saying the words that sent waves of panic through me…quickly giving way to despair…“Brian’s been in a wreck, he’s unconscious and bleeding.”

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