I know that a lot of people have multiple worst days of their lives, but this was really the worst day of my life.
It was January 30, 2003.
I was still working at my cousins store and it was a very cold day, but New England in January is always cold and windy. I remember I was filling something in on of the beverage coolers and I could see the front door.
I always tended to watch the front door for some reason or another and in walked a police officer.
The store was a local grocery store that has been around for maybe 50+ years, so it wasn’t unusual for a police officer to stop in, but this one said something to one of the cashiers and she pointed to where the office was and he went in that direction, not looking very happy.
I was curious so I asked the cashier what the officer needed and she said he was looking for my cousins. I had a bad feeling.
The officer was up in the office for around 10 minutes. When he came down he left without saying anything. I went on with working, still with an uncomfortable feeling.
I got called up to the office over the store intercom and now I was a little freaked out.
When I got up to the office both of my cousins were there, one was in a chair crying and the other had a blank expression. The one who wasn’t crying told me there had been a car accident involving my mom and my aunt, who were away for the weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He told me that one of them was dead, they didn’t know who, and the other one was ok.
It felt like my heart was in a vice grip.
There we were, just the three of us, knowing one of our mothers was dead and the other ok, but not knowing which was which. Words can’t describe what that felt like!
My cousin then informed me they were waiting on a call from the hospital to confirm.
It felt like hours while we waited.
When the phone finally rang my cousin answered it calmly, spoke to the person on the other line, thanked them and hung up.
He said it was the hospital and that both of our mothers had been killed.
I don’t remember how, but I drove home. I didn’t know what to do. What was I supposed to do? Did I cry? Like a baby! Then I knew what I had to do.
I called my sister.
I calmed down enough to call, but when she answered I started crying again. She was obviously worried and trying to get me to tell her what was wrong, when I finally was able to tell her she thought it was some cruel joke and she was yelling at me, not helpful but understandable and she hung up on me.
I cried myself to sleep that night.
The next morning I woke up thinking it was a bad, the worst, dream. When I walked out of my room I new it wasn’t. There was my sister and her friend who drove her to my apartment, both crying, so of course I started to cry.
We didn’t know what to do. We had to tell our family, but neither my sister or I were in any state to call, so my sisters friend called everyone for us.
My sisters friend had the hardest time making the phone calls, who wouldn’t? She did this for us and I will always be thankful.
After all the calls were done, my sister and her friend stayed with me. Other friends and family nearby came to check on us and stay with us for as long as they could and were very comforting and supportive.
The thing that killed my sister and I was my four year old nephew. My sisters son was in love with my mom, his “Mimi”.
He didn’t understand what was going on, just that Mimi wasn’t there and he wanted to see her. We were crushed even more!
We tried a lot to distract him, and in doing that kind of distracted us, but when the distraction lost its effect, back to the pain we went.
The next day was a blur, how don’t I remember? I don’t know.
I do remember my sister and I went to my cousins and we went over the obituaries and funeral plans.
My mother and aunt were going to buried together. They were inseparable in life, so they will remain that way.
I do remember the love and support that poured in from all over. Friends and family flew in from all over the country, and that showed how much my mother and aunt were loved.
The day or so leading up to the wake we were all in a shocked state I think. I thought it was all one long running nightmare, but I knew once they were laid in the ground, it was official and it was a living nightmare that I would never wake up from.
Preparing was not easy, but with the support and love around us we did the best we could. If I had my choice I would have locked myself in my apartment for the rest of my life, but that wasn’t an option. With every ones help, we made it to that day.
I will always remember, and be thankful for everyone who was there for us. Their love and support was the only reason I was able to make it through.
This was a life lesson that I still don’t know if I passed or failed, and maybe I will never know. But I do know I still and will always be thankful.