Today the temperature soared and we began our spring cleanup. Winter left a large amount of twigs and sticks all over the yard. When I took a load of sticks out to the woods I spied a little brownish top peeking from beneath a leaf. MUSHROOMS! They are early this year. I had to take a walk to look for more. The Bloodroot is blooming along with the Spring Beauties and Rue-anemone. The Jack-in-the-pulpit are up, although the mandrake are just now poking through the soil. the cranesbill is up and the violets are beautiful under my apple trees. Today the weeping cherry burst into bloom and the peaches are full of red buds and the Redbuds are getting ready to bloom.
I haven’t written because I didn’t know what to say about Doug and I couldn’t write about anything else without writing about it. Life changes. One of those phone calls in the middle of the night. “don’t go to school tomorrow,” what does that mean? I’m confused. “There was an accident,” What? who? I’m still confused. “Doug had an accident, I’m worried about the children.”
I always thought the middle of the night phone call was a myth. What should I do? I called the hospital and they didn’t know anything. I called the sheriff and the dispatcher told me that she would transfer me to the highway patrol. When she wouldn’t answer me herself I knew. The highway patrol dispatcher wouldn’t say anything one way or another, she just asked if I wanted the officers to come to the house or just call. My heart beat so fast I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t breath and there was a roar in my ears. My poor children I thought, they will lose both parents in one night. Finally the roaring subsided and my breathe came back and I sat down to wait. After some time I heard cars in the driveway and I went outside to meet them so the children wouldn’t wake up. “Did he make it?” I asked although I knew the answer, they don’t send three cars when the person survives. Doug died at the scene. How do you tell your children something like this? How do you tell anyone?
The coroner’s assistant, Kenny stayed with me through the night. I made coffee while we waited for morning and the time when I would have to tell my children that their father was dead. Sarah woke first. She screamed and cried. Kenny talked with her some later and was a comfort. I had to wake John to tell him. I told him that his daddy had an accident, “did he die?” he asked. Yes he did.
I still can’t come to terms with this, it still takes my breath away when I think of it. When I picked mushrooms today it made me think of last spring when we found so many mushrooms that we almost got tired of them. We gave Doug a big bowl of mushrooms one night. He never could find them himself. He’d walk right on them and still wouldn’t see them.
Now that I have said it, maybe I can go back to writing.