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Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Call Part Six

If you are just tuning in, catch up here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

After a while, I pulled myself together, called into work for the week and packed my bag for my parent's house. I would be going there alone for now. The joy of my children would be too much for all of us to bear. Plus, my children had been through so much change in the preceding days and I didn't want to pull them away from the developing sense of normalcy they were just starting to form. Like a scab over the wound of the move. The uprooting of all that they had known before Friday. And here it was only Tuesday and I was being uprooted from all that I had known. Damn. Life is tricky like that.

I vividly remember packing my bag. I had no idea how long I would be there. I remember trying to think of what I would need while I was there, like I usually do when I pack for a trip. I knew I needed a dress for the funeral. My brother's funeral. Who, less than 20 minutes before, my knowledge consisted only of my living brother. But now he was my dead brother. And my dead murdered brother at that. So which one of my black dresses is appropriate for my dead murdered brother's funeral? Which one of these dresses am I OK with forever associating with such a horrible event. Like the dress I used to love but now only remember as the dress that I wore to my mother-in-laws funeral. Because a woman doesn't forget those details.

After I had packed my bag, it was time to say goodbye to my created family to be with my birth family. I hugged my daughter goodbye. A hug that felt like the last hug I would ever have with her. Because as of that morning, I knew that it could have been. That any second of any day could be the last time I would see someone. Anyone.

It was incredibly hard saying goodbye to my daughter, but nothing like it was saying goodbye to my son. Because my mother had just lost hers.

When I looked into his sweet cherub face all I could think and feel was that my mother used to look at my brother that way. That she had raised him from a baby, just like I was doing for my son now. That she had no idea back then that one day his life would be ripped from all of us. That she and my father would lose a child, not to disease, not to drugs, not to a car accident, but to another person. That one day another woman's baby would take the life of her own.

I just saw and felt that so intensely in my bones when I looked at him. I did for months after. Every time I was near him. I think my mother still does. And forever will.

I still remember getting in the car to drive to my parents house that morning. Still in my work clothes. I was leaving my family behind. To be with my family. I looked in my rear view mirror and there was the beautiful new house that was supposed to be the embodiment of all that was to come. Now it would forever be the tomb of where I found out about my brother's murder.

That is all I have in me for now. Thanks for listening.

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