Altered

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Tuesday morning I received a call from my former husband.  I noticed how my stomach began slithering in knots and my heart began to race.  Even after 10 years my body still had that immediate visceral response  just seeing John’s name on my ringing phone.  I was sitting in my auto mechanic’s office, waiting for my car to be inspected.  Not the place to talk.  I put my hand over that slithery place in my abdomen, took a deep breath, and smiled.  It’s okay, I thought to myself.  I imagined he wanted to talk about Marleigh and Delaney, as they hadn’t spoken in several months, and I didn’t anticipate it being a particularly pleasant conversation.  I’ll get back to him when I get out of here, I thought.

But the moment I heard his voice in his message, I knew this wasn’t a frustrated or angry call.  I could hear immediately that there would be no riot acts being read. His voice was soft, his words were paced slowly.  He was calling to tell me his stepson had died in an auto accident the night before, and he really needed to talk to his daughters.  Could I help him.

I was sitting in my auto mechanic’s office, amidst a regular day.  Their world had been turned upside down.  Altered indelibly.  Unimaginably.

Phone calls and text messages have filled the quiet spaces of these past two days.  They will continue to do so.  There seems so little I can do, other than send love and support from afar.  Assure John that our daughters are healthy, and happy, and, most importantly, safe.  John’s partner fills my thoughts.  The mother of the young man who died.  I wish her comfort.  Great comfort.  May she be held and cradled.  May she receive and feel great love.  May she feel comfort.

 

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