writer’s workshop :: life changing

November 19, 2009 in about me,life,writers workshop

Disclaimer: quite possibly the most personal post I’ve ever written.

I remember the night perfectly. My sister and I were in the livingroom watching TV. The phone rang. We didn’t think anything of it. My mom and my dad went into their bedroom. I heard the sound of my mothers voice get high and shrill. This is the first moment of my life that I ever felt terrified.

There was screaming. Lots of lots of screaming. My sister and I frantically looked at each other. I was six. She was four. We were scared.

We immediately started to cry out of fear. My parents were strong and I had never heard either of them upset before.

We ran back to our parents bedroom. My dad and mom were both screaming and crying. My sister and I started screaming and crying even more hysterically.

We were screaming, asking them, “What’s wrong? What’s going on?”

I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.

My parents wouldn’t tell us what happened. They dropped us off at the neighbors. Shauna and I screamed and cried all night.

I found out the next day at school. My teacher thought that I knew. I didn’t.

My grandfather had been murdered the night before.

I don’t remember anything else about that day. My world stopped. I immediately became an adult. My first brush with death had been a murder and my six year old mind couldn’t figure out why someone would do something to MY grandpa.

The only things I remember after that was the publicity, the courtroom dramatics, the extended hours at the calling hours, the funeral… these moments haunted my childhood. My sister and I would cry to our mom before bed for years to come. We would continue to ask why. We would never be like the other kids.

Most people go their entire lives without encountering this situation. Unfortunately we had to face it head on from a very young age.

To really understand me at all, I think it’s important to understand that this single moment has shaped my entire life. Every decision I have made, every outlook I have on life, has been a direct result of this single, life-changing, incident.

This post has been part of MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

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Amanda November 19, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Wow what an incredibly sad story, but how strong you must be now to be able to share this with everyone. I cannot even imagine going through something like that at such a young age.

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Melissa aka Equidae November 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

what a story it would be hard on anyone and although i can t quite understand your feelings at the time I can quite see how it changed you completely. passed from mamakat

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TheAnalyst November 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing. I can't imagine going through that, especially at such a young age. I imagine you have quite some resiliency now, despite such a tragic event.

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Valerie {Next to Heaven} November 19, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Wow. I can't even imagine. I'm so very sorry. And at such a young age… You are a very strong person. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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Analiese November 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Thank you for sharing what must be a very painful and traumatic memory for you. I admire the courage and honesty it took to not only write about this but also share it with your readers. *hugs*

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Andrea (ace1028) November 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

What an incredible moment to share with us all. Thank you. I am so sorry that your younger self had such an experience. {Hugs}

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Chelle November 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Rachel, your words of honesty continue to amaze me. I can't begin to imagine how that event shaped your life but I have no doubt it influences your decisions. I'm so sorry.

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Eyegirl November 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. I can't even image what you have been through. I'm so sorry.

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Robyn November 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for sharing with us a piece of your heart. I went through some pretty traumatic things as a child and young adult and my philosophy has become this-God only gives you what you can handle and you become a stronger person with every story. I admire you for sharing this story!

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Mama Kat November 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Oh my gosh!! Your poor parents…did you ever find out why? Did your parents find him? How absolutely tragic…and so the kinds of things I want to protect my kids from forever! How awful for you.

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Mama Kat November 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Oh my gosh!! Your poor parents…did you ever find out why? Did your parents find him? How absolutely tragic…and so the kinds of things I want to protect my kids from forever! How awful for you.

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Carolyn November 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Oh my gosh, I cannot even imagine. I've never had to deal with death (never even been to a funeral), and I'm terrified of the day I do.

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*krystyn* November 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Oh Rachel! That is awful. I'm so sorry you had this experience. Sad!!

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Okie Rednecks November 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Thank you for opening up and sharing it with us though….

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Simply Valorie November 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Wow, that's terrible. I'm so sorry. 🙁

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dreaming in pink and green November 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I'm so sorry. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I can't even begin to imagine the pain 🙁

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Sew.What. November 19, 2009 at 8:04 pm

thank you for sharing with us.

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Mrs. C. November 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm

That is just awful. I am so glad that you pulled through it. What a painful thing to have to experience at such a young age. One of my fiance's close friends that he grew up with was recently (about 3 years ago) murdered over a girl. I remember how awful the experience was, so unexpected, so surreal. It was really hard to comprehend and come to an understanding of how such a cruel thing could happen in one's life, to someone that you love.
I'm so sorry that you had to deal with that as a child. *Hugs*

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Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" November 19, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Oh my, how awful for you to have to deal with that shock and for your parents too. I hate unexpected phone calls–they are seldom good!

Visiting from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

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Chrissy MacCEO November 20, 2009 at 1:25 am

I find it remarkable that you shared this–it must have been somewhat therapeutic for you to write this entry. I have goosebumps, and tears in my eyes. I am so sorry that you had to go through such a terribly sad, unfortunate event at such a young age.

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LawGirl November 20, 2009 at 1:30 am

OMG, that is horrible. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. You're so strong for surviving it, and for sharing it with all of us!

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@tracytilly November 20, 2009 at 2:34 am

wow – I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa. That is so horrible for your family and you to have to live through and continue to live through. I actually wrote a blog about some of my life-changing moments (although I'm going to expand on it further)… http://tracytilly14.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/the-life-changing-moment/

I hope you have some better life-changing moments that change (and have changed) your world for the better!

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JW.BW November 20, 2009 at 4:33 am

Wow, Rach Im so sorry to hear that!! That is really so sad… Thinking of you {hugs}

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Kassie November 20, 2009 at 4:47 am

I'm am so sorry to hear this story!! I can't imagine how that was, but I sure can imagine how it changed your entire life.

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Molly November 20, 2009 at 6:34 am

I am so sad and sorry to hear this. It is incredible how much wrong goes on in the world. I am so proud that you have used this experience to make you a better person!

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Heidi November 20, 2009 at 1:04 pm

It's amazing how a single moment can shape a life like this has for you. I'm so sorry to hear this story and you're an incredibly strong person for sharing it…thank you.

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Melissa November 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm

What a horrendous experience for a young child! I'm so sorry to hear about this!

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Seashells&Sunshine November 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm

That is such a horrible, horrible thing to go through, and even more so at such a young age. It must have been extremely scary and life changing. Thanks for being so open and sharing that with us. It was a very courageous thing to do.

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{JANE} November 22, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Wow, what a sad thing to face at such a young age. Your writing is beautiful though, I am telling you, you should write a book!

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Lara November 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Wow, that's such a powerful post, and you obviously wrote it from the heart. I can't imagine how it must have felt at the time to know that your grandpa had been taken from you in such a horrible way. I still can't imagine what it's like for you to live your life knowing what you know.

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d.a.r. November 24, 2009 at 1:17 am

Wow….thank you for sharing that, it must have been really hard to write about!

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