Friday, March 04, 2011

Where did the last 5 years go?

It's been five years since our beloved Michael left us. It wasn't his choice, but someone had other ideas and decided he was needed elsewhere. I can still remember the day in crystal clarity, the sounds, the smells, the screams. It was all so surreal, it couldn't be happening. Til this day, I keep expecting him to walk in through the door.

That morning, I was home alone waiting for the plumber to fix a clogged up pipe when my cousin Jeffrey called me to come to our cousin Kristen's house. I couldn't leave the house, but he was insistent that his mother needed Mom and me right away. There was something about his voice that made me know something was wrong. I called a friend to housesit for me, called my mother at work, picked her up and we raced to Brockway to see what was wrong.

We walked in the door and Judy was there. She looked fine, but Jeffrey's wife put her arms on me and said, "Michael Baxter was killed this morning." WHAT?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I looked over at his mom and she was just sitting there, not able to move with tears flowing. His sister was in her room screaming and crying uncontrolably. I drop to the floor. It can't be real. Why was she saying such a horrible lie? Michael is only 17, he can't be gone.

I hug Kristen for a minute then go back to find Jessa. I just held her until she calmed down a bit, then I had to find my kids. Nobody would give me the keys to their phone, so I called my mother-in-law to please get my kids and bring them to me. She agreed and I called the schools to say she would be picking up the kids soon and I had no idea when they would be back. Then I had to call the rest of the extended family and Randy at work to come for me. Jeffrey ran to pick up my dad.

I can still hear the screams as each new family member was brought in the house and told what happened. Then the funeral home director called and said he wouldn't recommend an open casket and felt we shouldn't even see him. How can that happen? We never got to see our beautiful boy again? It can't be real. Please, let me wake up now. This nightmare has to end soon.

I've written about the horror many times over the last five years on here and it's pretty easy to find them. I'll never forget what happened, how can I? We're not supposed to bury our children. I don't know how Kristen keeps going. Her three girls are her life and now she's finally found a wonderful man who loves her and the girls. She's smiling again. Yes, she still cries a lot and always will, but is able to live again. She's so strong.

To remember the day, the family got together at his favorite Chinese restaurant. I wasn't able to go because it was senior day to take your parents to school. Randy went in my place.

I know we'll all be together again some day. My religious views might not be the same as yours, but I think everyone agrees that a child goes straight to Heaven, Summerland or the Happy Hunting Grounds. It's a straight shot there with no stops. He's no doubt watching me now, shaking his head and telling me to stop crying, he's fine and it doesn't hurt. I can even see him.

Until we meet again, Michael, I'll love you forever and a day.

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