Dwight D. Eisenhower was a brilliant man. He must have had a window into my life when he said, "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were."
Days passed and we began to move forward again. The phone would ring and my dad and I would answer it. I got up, got dressed, went to school, and functioned each day. My dad went to work and my mom....well she sat at the dining room table, smoking, staring out the window, and playing Solitaire. To this day I hate Solitaire. It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. People at church, school, and in the neighborhood looked as us with pity in their eyes and still told us, "I know how you feel." I wanted to shout, "DO YOU REALLY? It was during this time that my dad and I grew closer, my mom and I drifted further and further apart, and God was someone I yelled at on a daily basis in the back yard. I was really angry...at everyone....but most especially at God. One day in the heat of my anger I shook my hand at heaven and asked God why he took MY only brother....and did not take one of my Aunt Jo's twelve children? She had an abundance...I only had one brother....and he was gone. I love my family...and yet...I was hurting...and wanted everyone around me to hurt too. About six months into the process of grieving....my dad and I went fishing. While we sat on the banks of the canal off the Florida turnpike our hearts broke together. I told my dad what had been bothering me....I knew he would be mad....Dougie's death was my fault because I chose to ride my new bike. If I had only stayed in the yard and pushed him like he asked...he would still be alive. I promised my dad that I would do everything I could to make it up to him. My dad was stunned and sat there with tears building up in his eyes. When he finally composed himself he held me and told me it was not my fault....if it had been anyone's fault it was his....he tied the knot. We held each other and sobbed until there was nothing left to cry and then my dad began to pray. It was soothing being held in my father's arms...while he talked to our Heavenly Father. It was at that moment...I felt peace. True peace. When he finished praying my father gave me this scripture to hold on to....Psalm 30:5 - Weeping last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. What a feeling of freedom. Healing of my brokenness began on that canal bank and I knew we would one day be alright. I will be honest...it did not happen overnight...but it did happen. One day I woke up...and realized it was "The Day" and I was ok.