Tuesday, July 31, 2012

If only..........

Ten years ago today.........


I was home on vacation,  planning a weekend at the river with friends...

My mom called to tell me that my uncle was in a car accident.


why is she calling me to tell me that my uncle in TEXAS was in a car accident?
 
So I ask, "is he ok?"  figuring he had to be in the hospital for her to be calling me....



"no,  he died"

after I hung up,  I went into the bathroom and  washed my face.
What else could I do?
I went to see my dad.
My dad is a man of very little words.

My dad does not show emotions.
We know we are loved, not because he tells us,  but because we are.  

We just know it.

I sat there on the couch watching Rush Hour with him,  in complete silence.

I listened to him breathe, all his emotions were in his breathing.

I didnt mention his little brother.  

Neither did he.

When the movie ended,  he asked me "are you going?"
 

"of course daddy,  of course"

I didnt need to ask where we were going.  I knew he was asking if I would be going to El Paso with them.

I went to Target to buy a couple of magazines and a book,  cause the only interesting thing on the drive to El Paso is "The thing".

And I needed a new spin tooth brush.

I NEEDED it,  as if finding it would make everything ok.

When we got to El Paso,  my Aunt Chick tells us about the accident. 
It was the first I had heard any details.


I hadnt asked my dad,  and he hadnt wanted to know.


It was a drunk driving accident.

The woman driving the car my uncle was in was drunk.
She swerved the car to avoid hitting a rabbit.........causing the car to roll several times.
 
My Aunt Chick was the one to identify him.
She was the one to see that his head was severed from his body after the car rolled over on him.
(The driver only suffered a fractured arm,  but SHE was wearing her seatbelt.)


My uncle was only 46.  
He left behind 5 brothers, 1 sister,  2 kids, 3 grandkids,  and several nieces and nephews.

When we got to the viewing,  I walked up to the lady and asked her what room my uncle was in.  I asked her just like that.

"what room is my uncle in?  Im here to see my uncle." 



"Who is your uncle?"


And in that question,  I remembered who my uncle was, and I cried like a small child who didnt get the toy............


When I was a little girl,  my uncle was stationed in San Diego.
When he wasnt on base,  he was living with us.
He used to tell me so many stories about myself...
"when you were a baby, you used to......."
"hey mija, remember when you were a little girl you used to.........."



If only he hadnt gotten into that car.
If only he had worn his seatbelt.
If only had made wiser choices.  
But of course,  none of  us ever think we are going to be the subject of their nieces blog, telling their tragic story.



10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry Cho. I'm not good at those things either. I'll be happy to try to help cheer you up though. Come on over anytime.

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  2. That's my age, I am forever the designated driver now.

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  3. This is a beautifully heartfelt post regarding a tragic waste of a life. I turned 46 on Saturday and was arrested for drink driving 15 years ago. I have never done it since.

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  4. Very touching post. (My Dad was the same way)

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  5. Powerful reminders of much for me... thanks

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  6. That sucks. I lost my best friend to a car accident 10 years ago. For some reason there's something about people dying in cars that makes it so horrible.

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  7. Life is chock full of 'what ifs...'

    I guess the important thing is to not become the subject of a 'what if' story. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is beyond our control.

    Even though this was ten years ago, I am sorry for your loss...

    ~shoes~

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