Linking up with today’s Daily Prompt to chronicle three unforgettable moments in my life. In no particular order, here are three of the ones that I thought of right off the bat. 1. The day my father told us that he was leaving our mother. I found out later that mom had told him that he if wanted to leave, he had to tell us himself, she wasn’t to going to do it for him. I was ten, and it was the night of the last day of school. Dad put us in the car and we were going to go play Putt Putt and see Empire Strikes Back. We were so excited, as we hadn’t seen dad much over the past several years in general, and six months in particular, and this was a night out with just dad. JUST dad. How cool was that? On the way to the golf park, dad said that he should have never been a parent and he wasn’t very good at it, and that he was moving to Washington, DC. He was moving out on June 17th. It was Father’s Day. D and I were, of course, crying, as back then people didn’t get divorced. And if you happened to be a child of one of the rare divorced people, you were then ostracized by your friends as their parents didn’t want you them to play with kids from broken homes. (My own included until she became the head of a broken home herself.) We played golf, and went to the movie, and barely remember much about that night we were so upset. In retrospect, I think I knew that something was happening. A few weeks prior, I had walked down the hall at my Grandparents house to get a glass of water and heard my mother talking to her parents about how she thought that dad had gotten a transfer, and that we would be moving. I just don’t think that she ever thought there was a chance that he would go on his own and leave the rest of us behind.
2. Telling my dad that his dad had died. This one was just a few years ago. I had been with my Grandma and Pepa all weekend. Pepa was in a rehab facility recovering from some circulatory issues that had begun the stages of necrosis in his feet, but none of the sores had broken the skin. I left on Sunday to come home, and by the time I drove the 75 minutes home I had a message from my dad saying that he’d been taken back to the hospital. Dad wasn’t going to go back, so I called Grandma, and asked if she wanted me to come back. She said yes, and I bolted back up the road. I called my dad, and told him I’d fill him in on what I found out. When I got there, I called dad around 7 and told him that he needed to think about coming to Charlottesville, as it didn’t look good. He said he’d wait a bit and see, even though it’s only a 90 minute drive. Around 8 I called again, and really encouraged him to come, and to bring my brother, as he was barely conscious and the doctor was convinced that he wasn’t going to make it through the night. I started calling family, and I waited. My brother and his (then) fiancee were in Washington DC, though, and had ridden in on the metro so they couldn’t get back to their cars very quickly. By the time they got home, got their cars, picked up my father and stepmom and the dogs, and drove in, it was about 12:15 Monday morning before they got in. The official time of death was recorded as 11:55 pm on Sunday evening. I was holding his hand as they pronounced it. I was sitting outside, waiting for them to come in and meet them so they could be prepared to see Grandma. Dad went in to see his dad and say goodbye. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to say to him.
3. And since #1 and #2 are rather depressing, this one is not. Being told that I’m going to go on a trip to serve in missions. In 2011, after the kids had given their annual performance, I was pulled out into the Welcome Center by my (very very pregnant) best friend and her husband saying “We need to talk to you RIGHT NOW.” I wrote about that experience here, so I won’t go into it again. Just let it be said it is one of the greatest things that anyone has ever done for me. Ever.