Saturday, December 20, 2014
My First Worst Day
In case you're looking for an upbeat or humorous post, please feel free to skip this.
It's not my intent to be a "Debbie Downer" - but at the same time, I've been feeling a real need to write about something that changed my life forever.
...In doing so, perhaps someone will see this and not be left with unnecessary regrets.
But if you'll (please) come back on Christmas Eve, I've a special treat ...
an excerpt from a colleague's website (that) I'm pretty sure will tug at your heartstrings!
December 5, 1981
I'll never forget the look on my (former) husband's face as he gestured me to take the phone. "Right now."
"Whaaaat? I'm busy!"
On the other end, my mother's voice trembled, informing me my father had suffered a heart attack. Dad was resting comfortably in the hospital. She assured me, there was no reason to come. After all, we were expected to catch a flight from Dallas to Tampa for the holidays in just a couple of weeks.
Mother and Dad - newly retired to Florida's gulf coast - were so eager to show off their new home!
I was worried sick; but at the same time a little relieved. My husband and I were slated to host a dinner party for his managers and their spouses that night at the club.
"Please tell Daddy I love him. See you soon!"
That evening, I tried my best not to obsess. Someone introduced me to a White Russian ... something so comforting, I opted for another. And another.
Not many hours later, I struggled to push through the fog ... groping to silence the ringing phone.
My mother on the line, her voice curiously flat... telling me Daddy had passed away.
Obviously the next few weeks were an awful blur. Those who've suddenly lost a loved one get it.
Unfortunately, my decision not to catch a flight that afternoon is something I will always regret.
I'll never forget the young waitress who -- after handing us our menus and asking about our day, uttered, "Oh, that's so nice!" (Seriously? My father-in-law had just said we'd just come from the funeral home.)
Then and there, I vowed to exercise caution when blithely wishing others' a 'merry' Christmas or 'happy' holidays.
Hopefully, it's made me more cognizant of others' scars - new and old.
December 6 was the first, 'worst day of my life.' After all these years it remains a day of reflection.
Since then, I've experienced a several more 'worst days.' I suppose it's all part of the price of admission to becoming a full-fledged adult.
I know my you, my dear friends need no reminding ...
but let's all share - through our words and our actions - awareness of those facing some pretty awful challenges, and remember to hold them in our prayers.
... and hugs from Phoenix,