Just Remembering

2 years ago....it was a Thursday night. The Thursday before finals week, which meant preparation for a lot of studying....which only meant the last week of school which also meant lot's of Christmas parties during the following weekend. 2 years ago I was at home in my apartment where I lived with some great girls...I was making gingerbread cookie doe for the first time ever...for the three Christmas parties I had lined up in the next weekend. I mixed the doe and put it in the fridge to chill as the recipe called for. 2 years ago, this was my last week to be in Abilene before I went home to East Texas to prepare for my wedding that was a mere 16 days away. I was on cloud nine...I loved this time of year! I loved all of the Christmas parties and celebrating with my friends! I was enjoying making cookies for parties, and SO READY to be married soon.

2 years ago, after I put the doe in the fridge, my sweet fiance and I went to the school to print off some papers. By this time it was close to midnight. We were both sitting at computers when he looked at his phone. He told me my mom and Greg had both called. I then realized I had left my phone at my apartment, and hadn't had it in a while. It also registered in my mind that it was almost midnight and if you know my parents you know that they go to bed EARLY.....like 9pm or so, and strictly. So immediately I KNEW something was WRONG! Honestly my first thought was that something had happened to my grandmother, naturally because she is older I would think her. Meguell told me to wait there as he walked out to call back. Like I would do that....I could feel the back of my neck burning and my head was already spinning. It was weird how strong of a feeling I had KNOWING that something was wrong.
We stepped right outside of the computer lab, and somehow I heard Meguell say that my brother was in a wreck. My first thought was NO....HE ISN'T DONE. Without knowing the extent of the wreck, somehow in a flurry I ran down the long hallway out of the back of the building. It was dark and cold, and I was going crazy. I was literally screaming out loud! Crying, yelling NO! Bending over shaking my head! Telling God this couldn't be happening....pacing back and forth...NO, NO, NO!!!
Meguell came out and tried to gather me in his arms. He then whispered the words, "He didn't make it..." Somehow, not literally knowing I feel like I knew somehow. I then just lost it even more. I remember not being able to contain myself, still yelling and crying. I remember people looking, and I remember thinking they probably think I'm a hysterical girlfriend freaking out over petty "couple" stuff. Then I remember a campus police officer coming up to Meguell, a small distance from me asking if I was ok. He left shortly. The next thing I remember we were at Meguell's house, he got Bella, and threw an armful of his clothes into the back of my car. He asked if I wanted to go home and get any stuff. And I remember thinking "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!" I told him "NO LET'S JUST GO HOME."
You have to remember this is a five hour drive, and it was midnight. My sweet fiance at the time....drove me the entire way, getting me home to my family as quickly as possible. I cried the entire way, I laid my head in my lap and just cried and said no over and over. I remember Meguell calling several people, my best friend from Abilene, someone from our church, my roommate, and then finally my best friend who I grew up with who lived in Dallas. I remember having to shut my ears every time I heard him tell them what had happened! I didn't want to hear the words, or believe them.
I didn't talk to my mom once on that drive home. I didn't want to. I didn't want to hear her voice, and how broken she was until I got to her, until I could hug her and be there with her. I spoke with my sister about her coming home, I asked if she had talked to her mom, I asked a lot of questions. I also remember my cousins calling me. I remember Paul, my cousin in Austin calling me, just like me, in such disbelief. I remember my cousin in Tyler, Tiffany calling. I don't remember much except we all cried.
We stopped once in Terrell, because Meguell was getting really tired. He laid his head back for a second, and I was okay with it for a second. Then I realized I HAD TO GET THERE, so he took off again! He was so wonderful and so strong.
I remember getting to my house and my mom meeting me in the yard. We hugged and cried for a long time. I remember what she said to me. She said, "Things like the don't happen to US." Which is what everyone believes, until one day It Does!

I don't remember everyone that was at my house, but I do remember two significant people, because it was so sweet to me that they were there at 5am, having gotten no sleep either. Just waiting for me to get there, being with my family and wanting to be there for me. That was my sweet friend Lana Davidson who I grew up with. She heard about it on the police radio. And my best friend who I also grew up with since I was about 3 years old, Jessie Garmon. When Meguell called her in Dallas she came straight home to my house. That was so special to me to have them there....I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT.
The next days were a blur. I hated going to see my brother at the funeral home, I hated leaving him there...it wasn't right. He was supposed to come home with us. I hated seeing his car! How the entire driver's side of it was totally fine, thinking he should have made it. I hated seeing the seat that he was sitting in bent back and thinking that was the way he was thrown out of the car. I hated that my whole family was there, but NOT HIM. I hated that my mom had to see him at the wreck sight. That she told me she covered him up with what they had over him because he was on the cold December ground. I hated that the wreck was a measly half mile from his house, and a half mile from my mom's, right in the middle. I hated that the wreck happened in the area that we grew up our entire lives in. I hated that the cemetery was so close to my house. I hated that no matter which way you drove home to my house that you went down a horrible road: out of about 5 ways you were either passing the wreck sight, the cemetery, or the last road he drove before the wreck. I hated that his wrecked car was on the exact path that I have to drive to come home from Abilene every time for the next year after the wreck. I hated when we had to sit Chloe down and tell her what happened. I hated the confusion it brought her. I hated hearing all the sad questions or knowing that Addi would wake up in the middle of the night crying and asking for her daddy. I hate that 3 precious little ones don't have the Daddy that loved them so much. I hate that he was such a good daddy and he was taken away even though there are so many men out there who won't even take care of their kids. I hate that my mom and dad have to live without their son. I hated having to go to my brother's house and take down his sweet Christmas tree. I hated seeing his house perfectly lived in and yet know one there to continue life in it. I hate that now no one lives in our childhood home. I hate that the kids don't have Daddy's home to come home to, and I hate that the house they knew as their Daddy's home will probably be gone by the time they are older. I hate all the crap that has come to our family since the wreck.
I will always remember all the sweet people during this time. ALL THE FOOD, all the blessings, all the words. I will remember that my friends were there when I arrived home, that a sweet friend Kori Bowen came to visit me and bring me clothes because I hadn't bothered to get any. I will remember that my sweet cousin Courtney brought me clothes, and not just some to borrow, but she went and bought me BRAND NEW clothes to wear during December, and to the memorial. I will always remember all the sweet notes other lifegroup leaders from our Abilene Church wrote to me. I will always remember that all of my fiance's family/extended family came and saw me and how sweet that was. I will always remember how my fiance slept on our couch for those days, never leaving me. I will also remember looking at him when we told my oldest niece that her Daddy was gone, and seeing the sadness in his eyes too. I will always remember the sweetness of having our family there together.
And I will always remember my brother's laugh, his funny jokes, him messing with me all the time. I will remember how he dressed up as a girl and crashed my wedding shower. I will remember the last hug that I gave to him, and the last words that I said to him. I will remember that he was always there for me, he always took care of me and protected me. I will remember how proud he was of me, and how much he always bragged about me, about my softball pitching, and about just me. I will remember how much I always loved my brother, and I will remember how much he loved me. I will always have memories of our sweet childhood, where we constantly threatened to call grandma & grandpa or call mom at work because he was torturing us. I will remember him black-mailing me not to tell on him, by letting me pick out anything I wanted from his room (except for the Mickey Mouse Phone). I will remember how he let me pretend that I was beating him up when we were on the trampoline. I will remember how good of an artist he was. I will remember all the things he did for me, and all the sweet things he said to me as his little sister.
And I will always remember this date, December 3, 2009.
I will remember how still I got married 16 days later, I took family photos that now hang in my home, without my brother in them. I will remember how I couldn't wait to hear what he would say to me on my wedding day when I was all dressed up, and yet I didn't get to hear him say anything.
I will always remember, and I will always miss him, and life will NEVER be the same.