This is all I can get out right now…
Every time I find a receipt, boarding pass, letter, look back through my calendar….anything with a date listed before 3:10pm CST, September 19th 2013, I say to myself, “Maggie was still alive then.”
I can’t begin, nor should I try, to tell you how my world collapsed that day. These first two sentences have already started the water works. But maybe it’s therapy for me.
“It’s just not fair.” That’s what my husband said to me. “It shouldn’t happen like this.”
I was relaxing with friends. We had just come back from a Mets/Giants game. Chris with his infinite luck (yet again) snagged some amazing seats for us. We had come back to an apartment that our friend’s parents had rented for the week. We just had gourmet pizza and laziness was setting in…for me.
Someone had just mentioned the difference between the married couples and the single couples. The men were around the table spinning yarns about “man stuffs” and the single-couple (unmarried) girls were right next to their beaus trying to stay attentive. All us married ladies were over on the couch watching random musical reality-TV contests.
My phone has been on silent, but I noticed that my mom was calling. Later I realized that she had called a few times before.
“I’ve got some bad news.”
I immediately stood up.
I knew in her voice something was wrong. I always mentally flash to my 75 year old father when I hear something like that come out of her mouth, but my brain told me that if it were him, she would not have been able to speak let alone call.
“Maggie’s been in a car wreck.”
On God! I thought. She’s was in a fender bender before and was okay, my thought was…oh God, help, she’s in the hospital.
“She didn’t make it. Maggie’s dead.”
I don’t know if it was because I just saw someone go out of the room beside me, but I ran into that room quivering, “What?”
Mom had to repeat it. But, I understood. I didn’t want to, but I understood.
She then did her best, through the tears, to explain what they knew to have happened. It was instant. Her death.
I just sobbed.
“Are you sure it’s her?”
Sometimes Maggie would let her friends borrow her car. In fact, the fender bender I mentioned earlier may not have been because of her driving. She was protecting a friend who was driving her car and didn’t have insurance. At least that’s what I thought about it.
“Yes,” Mom said. “I thought the same thing, but they know it’s her.”
“Where is she? Where’s her body?
“They took her to Dallas for an autopsy.”
I remember talking with my sister Diane shortly after. She was in shock as was I, but her…Maggie’s mommy…it was much more then my brain could take in.
I remember feeling Chris touch my shoulder and I lost it even more. I told him what had happened…as best as I could.
He just held me and spoke those words.
I asked for tissue. I don’t know why. He left the room to get me some.
I stood up and stared outside the window across the street. My spinning brain was blank from overload. Union square was a few feet down to the left.
I started talking to Maggie.
“What happened, Baby? Oh Maggie, what happened?”
Then I started to see her, in my minds eye. I don’t know why. I saw her and heard her.
“KK, don’t cry, I’m okay.”
She was pleading with me and smiling like she did when she knew something that she couldn’t tell you. Like a secret. Or something I couldn’t understand because I was too “not with it” to get it.
That coy little smile.
She was dancing in the sunlight in a white t-shirt with black words on it that I can’t remember. She looked so happy and relieved.
“I’m fine, KK. Really!!!”
Laughing, smiling…at peace. So happy!
“I’m not” I said out loud.
But I felt this weird peace. A calm. I was in the eye of the storm. And I knew, she was…okay now.
Three days. I thought to myself, as I had visions of her dancing and smiling and looking at me like I needed to trust her. Three days. She’s still here…her soul is here for three more days…