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