For the last couple of months I have tried to immerse myself in life. I have made new friends, competed in softball tournaments and attempted my best to keep myself on the right track. But none of those are the reasons that I need to write now. As I have attempted to embrace life, I was given a reminder yesterday that the devastation of death is always near.
Two nights ago, my friend’s husband was driving home from work on his motorcycle. He may have been speeding, they are still investigating, but a car pulled out in front of him and he was unable to stop in time. Jarrod hit the car and was declared dead on the scene. His wife, Sandra, never got the chance to tell him goodbye.
The emotions inside of me are confusing and a mesh. I just can’t fathom that this man that was so full of life is now gone. Sandra sits next to me at work and so we talk throughout the day. Jarrod plays softball, like me, and so Sandra would discuss his games with me and I would tell her of mine. I heard all about their life, the good and the bad. A month ago, as I was struggling in my own relationship, I went to Sandra and discussed with her her own marriage. She explained to me that every relationship has its struggles and moments where you don’t know if you are doing the right thing. But that, at the end of the day, if you still loved each other then you were doing everything right. She discussed with me frankly their struggles, but one look in her eyes told me that she wouldn’t take back one moment of it. As she loved him with her entire heart. Hours before the accident, she was standing at my desk and we were discussing dieting and working out. And she was talking about Jarrod and their plans. It breaks my heart to think that just a mere four hours later, her entire world was shattered. In one moment, everything changed.
We work the same schedule and so Sandra and I always leave together. As we took the elevator to our cars that day, I was joking with her how I only had two more days of work until I get the next ten days off (taking vacation for my birthday). She told me how jealous she was that I got a vacation. She said the last time she got sufficient time off was when she took a week off for her father’s death, approximately a year ago. Her last words were that she wished she could have a week off. Well. She got her wish. And more. We do not know when she will return to work, if ever. But it is not the time off that she ever imagined it would be.
I wish I could go back to that moment in the elevator. Tell her to take her wish back. Tell her to call Jarrod, right then and there, and tell him to come home right at that moment. Or to stay late at work. Five minutes and he never would have met that car on the street. Five minutes earlier. Five minutes later. And everything would have been different. I wish I could go back and tell her. Or at least tell her to tell him how much she loved him. How much he meant.
I have discussed before how I “feel” things. I feel my environment or emotions in ways that are hard for me to explain. The night of the accident I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I thought it was nothing. But there was just this bad feeling I couldn’t shake. Yesterday morning on my way to work, my stomach was hurting bad. When I got to work and did not see Sandra’s car (she ALWAYS gets to work before me), I had an even worse feeling. My heart is literally broken for her. I can’t even imagine. And it just makes you realize everything that we take for granted. I never got to say goodbye to my grandmother either. And that will always haunt me. But your significant other? Your other half? I can’t even fathom the emotions. But I needed to write this just to get a little bit of it out. I just wish I could go back.
“She got the call today. One out of the gray. And when the smoke cleared, it took her breath away. She said she didn’t believe, it could happen to me. I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees…”
Mat Kearney – Closer to Love