11 March 2009

Of a love lost (March 1991) Part I

I'm trying to sleep. I close my eyes and I imagine witches are flying around on their brooms, in the darkness, circling my home. Or was I dreaming! 

I don't really know when I fell asleep. I must have been, because the telephone rang and I awoke with a start. It's still dark outside! What time is it? I get up to answer the phone and say "hello". It's a guy and he's asking me if this is the home of DC. I answer that it is and this guy tells me that DC died in a car accident and that someone would have to identify his body. I say "ok" and he says "at UH". I say "ok" again. End of our conversation.

For a moment, I thought I was still asleep but I'm not. I take a deep breath and I sit in silence. Just for awhile. In that moment, I knew my life would never ever be the same again.

I call Justin. It’s an automatic response. DC told me to call him if I ever needed help. I calmly explained the telephone call. It’s not a prank call. He’s more in shock than I am. He would be over, soon, he promised. The fear began to creep in. I’d have to break this news to many others.

Then I called my grandfather, who lived in the street behind mine. I told him that I needed him to come over. I told him not to rush and that I would open the back gate for him so he only needed to push it. When he came, I told him that I wanted him to stay with the 2 boys and if they awoke, to send them to their baby sitter. Then I told him about the call and he gave a long, loud wail. Wasn’t that supposed to have been my reaction? 

His crying wakes my younger boy. My little boy, Eric, is curious to see his great grand-dad so early in the morning. I pick him up and hold him. He’s such a good baby. He doesn’t cry. He knows I’ll see to him. He drinks his milk and medicine and I send him to the baby sitter, just down the road. The cold morning air reflects the feeling inside my heart. I lie to the baby-sitter that I have an emergency and ask her to keep him till I settle it. She takes him from me, she hugs him close and I can see that she loves him as much as I do. It consoles me.

Back at home, I call my in-laws and I tell them that I have to go to UH and that I would meet them there. I know they have questions but I didn’t have any answers.

Justin arrives and he questions me in the car. I don’t know anything more than what I was told on the phone. I’m not sure if I am ready to face the day. I know I can’t wake up. I am awake. It’s not a dream.

We reach UH and Justin deals with all the bureaucracy. I follow him around. I collect DC’s wallet. I’m numb. In just minutes, we are at the mortuary. I see the gurney and there’s a person wrapped in black plastic. The hospital attendants want to open the plastic and Justin stops them. He gestures to ask if it was okay for me to look. They nod their heads. So they move the plastic sheet and I see him. His eyes are closed. He looks like he is sleeping. There’s a bit of blood. Justin identifies him. They all look at me. In that moment, I knew I had to cry. I knew it was expected of me. And I did. Just tears pricking my eyes and streaming down my face. I notice blood on the floor. I can’t look up at anyone. Justin holds my arm and leads me outside the mortuary. I see my in-laws and I know that they know. It’s a moment frozen in my mind.

I go back home and the furniture has been moved out of the hall. They expect the coffin to be brought home. I decide not. I don’t want my boys to have the memory of a coffin in their living room. I insist to have the wake in church.

Jared is not even 4 years old. He’s pleased with all the attention he’s getting. No one has told him yet. I pull him quietly aside and kneel down by his side. I tell him that his father died. He asked if he got shot. (DC was a police officer). I smile at his innocence and say “no”. Then he asked if his dad was old. I tell him “no” again. I say that he died in a car accident. He says “oh, okay”. He can’t understand death. Not at that age, anyway.

Death is so final. I am a widow. And I am alone. I’ve lost my best friend and I don’t know if I can carry on with the two boys by myself. 

More to come....


Mel & Sham said...

Thank you for sharing this, Lita. There is much I can learn from you.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Mel: I'm just writing to keep these memories for posterity and hopefully for my grandchildren to read one day! I hope my sharing touches people in a positive way. There's a moral behind every posting done.

Thanks for the thumbs up! God bless you, Sweetie!

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ !!! You allowed me into your life, into your person and I know your life as you lived it then. Now if you were really writting about your life, then I was not wrong to want to read what you write because when I first read your intro to your blog one line hit me - "tugs at my heart". So tell me Lita was that your life that you wrote about? Knowing if it is so would allow me some understanding of the circumstances where one can write feelingly when it comes from the heart. You do not have to think...the moving finger writes...

On a different note - do you remember when you first came across that line "tugs at my heart"?- for me it was a line said by Richard Chamberlin in the series "Thorn Birds" to the love of his life - a girl call Meg - I think. He was a Priest who became a Cardinal and she was the love of his life whom he could never have...but I digress.


Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

HH: In another lifetime, yes!

It's not all sad, there is a happy ending.

Wait for it, okay! ;)

Patricia said...

I cried when I first read these words, and I cried again today. I can't know how you feel. I can barely imagine it.

I can extrapolate this and put Chuan in DC's place, and me in yours - but then, my mind becomes blank.

Thank you for sharing this, darling. I could not have been easy - not then, not now.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Pat: Your heart is as sensitive as your mind! I didn't mean to make people sad. I only wanted to share so that people would remember to be happy.

I'm hoping my posting will make some difference to this world.

Love ya! :)

Zaharan Razak said...

My belated commisserations, only getting to know you ...

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

ZR: Getting to know you through your blog posts too. Frienships develop in the strangest places! ;)