2012 | Our Year in Review

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The 14th of December

Nine years ago today, my aunt opened the door to her home to find her oldest son--a police officer--standing there; one of his peers at his side.

She'd lived through this before.  A year and a half earlier she was informed by police that her middle son, Jerrid, had been in an accident and was life-flighted to a hospital a little more than an hour away.

So when she saw her son at the door she told him, "Don't give me any bad news."

Her husband and youngest son had left for work earlier that morning.

I don't know--and I can't imagine--how my cousin broke the news to her.  But he felt it was his duty to be the one to tell her that her son and his brother, Jerrid, had taken his life that morning.

I can't imagine how my aunt handled the news, the grief, and the devastation of it.

When my Daddy told me of it I was preparing myself for him--always the jokester--to be pulling some sort of prank on me.  When he told me my first thought was "That's a horrible joke."

And then--with full force--what he was saying hit me.

I don't remember if I cried then or if I held it together until I got upstairs in my bedroom.  But I remember kneeling at the foot of my bed and just letting the tears pour out of my broken heart.  I'll always feel the distinct feeling of arms around me that I felt right then even though I was physically alone in the room.

Every year on the 14th of December, I play those moments.  What it must have been like for my cousin and my aunt and what I felt like when I was told. 

Every year, on the 14th of December I relieve that day and the days that followed.

Every year on the 14th of December, no matter how happy I am in my life, I wake up with a broken heart full of tears.

This year the 14th of December is worse.

Because now my heart is full of hurt for more mothers who sent their babies off to school but were never again able to bring them home.

I imagine the officers who had to tell them and the relatives left to mourn them. 

What a sad and tragic days this is.