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.

Thank you!
... and hugs from Phoenix,



  1. Words can sting. Your message is powerful, indeed. I remember giving birth to my oldest child. She barely weighed 4lbs. I was telling someone I thought I knew about the difficulties I had had and all she wanted to know was if the baby was dead. Made me wince. So I understand exactly where you are coming from.

  2. Very true m'dear. Blessings and Hugs to you.

  3. I've had those moments. Worse ones for sure. Like you I'll never forget them. About the words...I don't think people mean to be cruel, they just don't even think about what they are saying sometimes. I just try to keep the good memories and forget the rest. I believe those we love are really never gone. They remain in our hearts forever.

  4. Definitely not a fun entry, but oh so sweet. You have stated it well 'The first Worst day'. Regrets, yes we have a few, but we do the best we can with our lives that are controlled by so many 'outside' forces. And if we could we would recall a time and as pleasantly as possible say I have something MORE important, BUT WHEN YOU REALLY DO NOT KNOW, you depend on others to assist in the 'DECISION' hoping they are right.
    In my case the pilot of the plane announced 'We are unable to land in Charlotte, the weather is too bad we must divert. During that diversion, my dad passed on, I was on my way flying from Cuba to Charlotte to see him in the hospital. Some of life is no fun, but lessons we as sure we do not need.
    But the love remains, and Christmas is still a time for JOY.
    A heartfelt entry that brings back memories.

  5. PS: So many times in a busy life, humans do not HEAR the sadness in those around.
    And yes once stung, if you are a lover of people, you pledge to listen and NOT hurt. YOU would do that!

  6. (((Myra))) Thank you for sharing this. I too have regrets about not seeing my mom before she died (also in December, the 13th, back in 2006). I think you gave wise words to be careful when wishing people happy holidays or Merry Christmas and also to listen to people when they talk and not assume it is going to be joyful news they might be saying.


  7. Powerful post, Myra. Thank you for sharing your heart. My siblings were not in sync telling me about my mom. Gratefully, I listened to my brothers and got on that plane and enjoyed her final week with her. I will never forget a fellow traveler in the airport who asked me where I was headed. He replied, "You are doing the right thing." Sometimes we just have to stick our neck out and say something. Like you did today. It can really help someone! Luv u!

  8. What you say is right - and may we all remember - there is no promise of tomorrow.

  9. A very thoughtful and poignant post and one with which I can strongly identify. The Christmas season has never held fond memories for me.
    My Mom passed away five years ago on December 7 - - a few days before my birthday. That was the worst day of my life.

  10. Don't know if you will remember me but I check in with you every so often. Sorry for your loss.

  11. Sometime life just can be so cruel. We never know and we can not beat ourselves up for the unknown. We must be kind and loving and know that our loved one did know how much we loved them. I am always saddned by those who have phamily feuds, rifts, whatever you want to call them. I see it with my own brother, his wife and their oldest son. One day one of them will be gone in a flash and there willl be many regrets. You can not bring back all the terrible things you said in anger or sadness. Love to you this New Year 2015.


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