Monday, July 13, 2015

The Phone Call That Changed Everything

This is a cooperative blogging prompt, and so timely for me, thinking about my parents.

For me the phone call that changed everything was the day my dad called to tell me my mom had died in a car accident.  I will NEVER forget that call, how he sounded and what he said.

For me, I was living in Germany at the time, it was afternoon. About the time my mother usually calls to say hi and chat.  It was just after she would be getting home from work, winding down, before going to bed, morning in Maine (she worked night shift).

I answered the phone, and all I could hear was horrible sobbing on the phone.  I said hi but no one answered or said anything.  I remember just saying "dad?"  It sort of sounded like it could be my dad but I couldn't tell. All he said was "mom's dead".  I remember that feeling of my heart just sinking to the floor, like I would have to scoop it back up and put it back in my chest at some point in time.  And I remember asking what happened.  He told me that she hadn't come home from work so he thought maybe she had a flat tire or something and he drove out to meet her and help.  He said at the end of the road she normally drives, were emergency vehicles, they were not letting any traffic onto that road.  He just knew it was her and that something was horribly wrong.  He told me that he left his car running at the end of the road, and ran in to find out what was going on, all the while knowing in his heart it was her.

I won't get into details but it was quite far down the road.  He saw the accident and said that police would not let him near at all.  When they turned around he ran back down the road to his car and actually drove home.  He told me all of this through his sobs.  I felt devastated for me and for him.  I knew that she was his life and that this would be hard for him to get through. It did turn out that, even though he had no way of being positive in that moment that she had died in the crash, his heart was right and she had.

That phone call changed my life in so many ways.  Of course the obvious when you lose someone like that, someone so close, that knew you from before the beginning.  But in not so obvious ways as well, like I can't drive down the road without thinking of that accident and how you never see that coming.  Like how at any given time now I can burst into tears for what seems like no reason at all.  How every time Jackson goes to work I say "I love you" because I know that seeing him again is not guaranteed and have a pit in my stomach every day he is late coming home.  How I know now, what my children will feel someday, and there is no way to prepare for this.  And how every time the phone rings there is a little jump in my heart wondering who is calling and what it is about.  How sometimes I just don't want the phone to ring at all.  That was the phone call that changed everything for me.

If you would like to read what Nancy had to say about the phone call that changed everything, you can see her over at A Present Moment.  What was the phone call that changed everything for you?

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