August 3, 2011 by themommahen

Eleven years ago today, I got a horrible call at my kind-of-new-at-the-time job. I was prepping hard-core for a big new business pitch to an online exchange (it was the height of the dot-com roller coaster ride) and assumed something had come up regarding that. After being paged several times over the loud speaker, I called the receptionist, annoyed, from my cubicle desk and was told that my brother was on the line. I immediately knew something was horribly wrong, I just didn’t know what. I told the receptionist to hold on while I scrambled to find an empty office to take the call.

Turns out my mom’s cousin had received an even worse call that day, telling her that her second oldest daughter had been in a horrible accident. She was 17.

I remember that day in slow motion. Priscilla Anne (and her three sisters) were like my own little sisters I never had. I went in to my supervisor, told her the news and informed her I’d be fine for the pitch. She wisely sent me home. In shock, the husband and I flew home the next day. The worst part was pulling up at their house and having three girls run out and collapse on me. I remember their mom and dad, devastated, crippled and broken. I didn’t understand it at the time. I remember actually thinking at one point several weeks later that it was probably time for them to go back to being parents to the children they had still on this earth. Today I am embarrassed at my ignorance and naivete. Today I wonder how they ever got out of bed again. How they ever put on clothes. How they ever brushed their teeth. How they ever ate. How they continued to breathe. How they ever moved on at all.

I went to a memorial softball game and scholarship benefit a couple of months ago for her. They hold it every year and I couldn’t help thinking how the girls on the field, roughly the same age as Priscilla Anne was, had no idea what or who they were playing for, yet they played anyway, in her honor. I’m guessing that’s kind of how her family must have felt; still feels. No idea how to go on, but they do anyway. In her honor.


One thought on “17

  1. Anonymous says:

    Life is all about when reality sets in as we rarely know what we are learning as we live through the experience. Whether it is the happiest moment of your life, or the worst nightmare you could imagine. I feel I am always living in the moment and it is not until later that I understand what that moment was about. If we don’t learn from our own experiences, we learn from people who have the ability to write and take the time to share. I’m a little behind in my readings, but alway love your thoughts.

    Take care and love to all.

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