Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Rainy Monday

I remember that day like it was yesterday.  Every detail is etched in my mind, probably forever.  It was a rainy Monday (reminding me of the song "Rainy Days and Mondays" - always get me down).  The day started like any other, getting up early, getting ready, and leaving for work.  I'm a teacher, and we had a teacher in-service day instead of regular school that day.  I was scheduled to be at a workshop all day on school improvement plans.  However, there was a group from my school that had to leave the workshop early to attend the funeral of a friend and former co-worker.  The funeral was held that afternoon in the chapel of a local funeral home.  Little did I know as I sat there remembering Mrs. Flowers (who had also been my son's first grade teacher) that I would be back in that same room three days later for my husband's visitation.

As we were leaving the funeral, my friend Janie asked me if I wanted to go eat with her and her daughter.  I told her I couldn't because I needed to go to the grocery store before I went home.  I remember talking to my husband on the phone while I was in the store, and our conversation ended in an argument.  I felt badly after that, so I bought his favorite - fried chicken from the W. D. deli - to take home for supper.  Just as I arrived home, he was getting ready to leave.  The rain was getting heavier, and I asked him to stay home and help me take the groceries inside.  I didn't really need the help and the rain didn't matter because I was parked under the carport, but for some reason I had an uneasy feeling about him leaving.  He left anyway, just as I knew he would.  I'm not sure why, but I sat in the front seat of my car watching in the rear view mirror as he backed his truck out of the driveway.  I remember seeing him stop and thinking "Thank goodness he's changed his mind," but he only got out of the truck to pick up something in the driveway (to this day I don't know what he picked up).  That was the last time I ever saw him.

Looking back on that day I constantly ask myself what I could have done differently.  I wonder if I had changed even one little detail of the day would the events of that night have changed.  Was there something else I could have said to keep him at home?  Should I have insisted on going with him?  Why didn't I tell him I loved him before he left?  It's been years, but the whys, what ifs, and if onlys haven't gone away.  I don't know if they ever will ...

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

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