A Series from my Minds Eye: Part four

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “mine”.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven.

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I’ll find my way through night and day
‘Cause I know I just can’t stay here in heaven.

Eric Clapton

The day he died~ My memory begins, as I was sitting in my afternoon kindergarten desk. Just waiting for the bell to set us all free. I felt a sensation. Similar to the lurching feeling that sometimes happens to a stomach in elevators. It didn’t go away. I glanced up to see my principal speaking to my teacher in the door way. I watched her cover her mouth with her hand. (A normal reaction to shocking news.) The sinking feeling wasn’t going away. So, I got up to go tell her I didn’t feel well. She had me go back to my desk and rest my head, as there were just a few minutes until the final bell.

Free at last. The queasy feeling in my stomach abated with the distraction of beginning my journey home. My brother, one of the big kids at school, walked home too, but I don’t remember him walking with me that day. I walked with my friend. Her house was on the route I took to get home. We got to her house. She asked if I could stay to play. Her mother said yes, but I had to call home to get permission. I excitedly recited my phone number for her to dial. The call was answered… by my Grandfather… weird. While frequently at our house, He never answered the phone. I ask my question. He answers, “Let me ask your mother.”. He returned to the phone. “She says you should come straight home”. Disappointed, I give the phone back to my friends mother.

On the way home again. I continue my walk, at this time I am alone for a bit. I meet up with my brother and other bigger kids that walk the same path. Suddenly, our next door neighbor pulls up in front of us. Driving their green two seat-er, picking her son and myself up. The two of us pile in. Then, giving my brother strict instructions to “get home, no dilly dallying”. It took longer to get me home, because of traffic, than it took my brother to get there on foot. So, I was the last child to arrive home.

I walked across the neighbors yard to my own. Weird.. why are there people standing in the front yard? My Grandpa was waiting for me at the door. I jovially jumped up the steps, excited to see him. He greeted me, “Hewoh Cawwie”. Weird.. he only calls me Cawwie when I’m sad or hurt. He took my hand and led me through the living room, kitchen and dining room. The house was full of women. All of them, stopped what they were doing. Staring at me, as I walked past. With what I would now call, pity. Yuck! I felt so uncomfortable. Being watched. As if they were waiting for my reaction. The sensation, I had felt in school returned.

Grandpa knocked on my parents bed room door. Mom said, “Come in.”. Grandpa released my hand. I entered the room. Weird… why are my brothers in here with my mom? Why do they look sad? Confusion or tears had colored their faces. The five of us, (the siblings who were too young to be living on our own), and our mother crowded together on my father’s side of their bed. Either sitting on the bed, sitting on the chair of my father’s desk, or precariously perched on the window sill. Mother recited the words, “Daddy has gone to Heaven.”. My reply, a nonchalant, “OK.”.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I did not understand. I supposed, he would return for supper.

My exuberant six year old self quickly dove into, “Guess what I learned to do today!!” “What?”, asked my mother. “I can whistle! Just like Daddy!” “Do you want to see?” “Yes, please show us.”, my tearful mother said. I pursed my lips.. and sucked in. (Not blew out). It made a whistling sound, but definitely not the wonderful whistling my Daddy did. Our little group laughed. Someone asked me to do it again.

That’s it. That’s all.

The happenings of that day, altered the course of my life. The ups and downs on the roller coaster of life would tear me apart at times, only to stitch me back together for the wonderful moments.

I wonder, at times, what did we have for supper? I wonder how many times, did my mother say those words or some version of those words that day? When did my older siblings, that lived “far away” come home? Who had to tell my Grandmother that one of her sons had “gone to heaven”? In all honesty, I don’t want to know the answers to these questions. The answers would change my recollection of this day. The memory would no longer be mine, alone.




2 thoughts on “A Series from my Minds Eye: Part four”

  1. Oh my goodness, Carrie. What a picture now in my own head of this time. Now BOTH of your parents are together in HEAVEN, this we know. I miss them very much to this day!!


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