June 5th, 1994.
I'll remember this day as if it was yesterday for the rest of my life. It was early morning still asleep the phone rang. It was my Aunt Nan asking me, "what I was doing." "Sleeping Aunt Nan, why what's the matter?" "Nothing", she said, "I just want to know if you want to go to Foxwoods *(casino)* for the day with me and your Mother?" "What did my Mom say?" I asked, "I thought we were going to go to the beach?" She said, " to ask you..."
"Sure why not?"
Little did I know, what the day would bring.
She told me to get ready, that my Mom was on her way home and start straightening up the house so we could get going. You see, my Mom had dropped my brother off at his new job as lifeguard and went to her sister's house for there morning coffee clutch ritual. My Mom had two sisters *(both of whom are now deceased)* who lived just a few blocks away from us. These three sisters usually spent there mornings before work coffee clutching with each other. It's there they shared there stories of life, motherhood, depression and aggravation over something sweet and a cup of coffee.
My Mom came home, we finished cleaning the house together and than left to pick up my Aunt. My Aunt Nan, *(the favorite for her tenderness, and childlike demeanor)* handed me a necklace she had purchased for me. It was a silver perfume bottle on a long chain which I've since misplaced somewhere amongst my belongings and off we went. My Aunt Nan, having a penchant for all things Indian was ecstatic to be going to the casino. *(My Aunt with her long black hair and features resembled Pocahontas, the Mother of one)* My Mom a beach lover, who would have rather spent the day relaxing in the sun, yet happy to be spending the day with her sister and me. *(My Mom also a favorite because of her frankness and truck driver mouth and her ability to just get up and go, the youngest of 7, the mother of two, always making you laugh or cringe.. in a a good way)*
Off we went... the radio blaring there and back. The casino was well blah. At the time Foxwoods had really just opened and well it's far from Vegas and less than Atlantic City if you can imagine.
My Mother and I having had our fill sat in the car eating a hot dog waiting for my Aunt to get her fill of the casino. Patience fleeting and my brother needing to get picked up we searched for my Aunt to hurry her along.
Back in the car now, on our way home we stopped briefly for a bathroom break and my Aunt to buy some moccasins at the local Indian trading post and back on the road we were.
Having driven there, I was driving back. My Mom was working 12+ hours a day than as a car salesperson. She had no more birds in the nest my brother off at boarding school me off at college she needed to keep busy and sales in her blood was taken a much needed rest as passenger. The conversation always fun and lighthearted. The radio on, Rod Stewart's Rhythm of My Heart blaring as we sang along... followed by the breaks screeching and metal twisting as the mini van we were in, fought with the concrete roll after roll after roll.
It happened within seconds. The driver *(an elderly woman)* having seen an exit approaching thinking it was hers, decided to move into the right lane. The only problem, we, were in the right lane going 72 mph with the flow of traffic, cars in front of us, cars behind us, crowded yet moving. It took her several attempts before we finally brushed together and my car flipped over. That exit she thought was hers, it was a weigh station, not an exit at all. *(A weigh station is where trucks get checked for the weight to make sure everything is as it should be)*
According to accounts, it appeared to be something out of an action movie. Traffic coming to a halt. Cars screeching everywhere, our mini van thrown into the air and tossed about like a rag doll. My Mother and Aunt thrown from the automobile. Their bodies lay on the highway. It was than as the minivan came to a stop my own true horror began. In shock, unknowing what I was about to face, what I truly feel were angels helped me out of the van, I saw my Aunt first her body laying facing my Mom, as I came around my Mother lay there on her back, no visible bruises yet no one moving either. Screaming, screaming and screaming and more screaming. *(I feel it right now all over again.)* God help me. MOM! Don't leave me.. Please! Please! Don't leave me! As a Marine gave aide to my Mom and a nurse to my Aunt, EMS and Fire Trucks approaching, sirens blaring and blaring, My Mother and My Aunt went to heaven. Amazingly no one else was injured including myself.
I can't believe it's been 15 years. I can't believe I haven't seen my Mom or heard her laugh in 15 years when it feels like yesterday to me. I can't believe it's 15 years. I can't believe my Aunt Nan hasn't met her grandchildren or My Mom hasn't seen the incredible man my brother has grown up to be or me the shy girl turning into a force of my own.
My Mother and I were friends, we were Mother and Daughter and we were confidants. We shared secrets and tears and giggles and stories. I miss her more than words can even express. We argued, we made up, we pestered each other and loved each other. She was a driving force not to be reckoned with, who taught me, nothing is impossible. Famous for making me believe, "Yes I can!" I can't believe she's gone.
Both my parents are now in heaven. Together again. My Mom harassing my Dad for sure, she kept us in check and forced us to be better day in and out. She saw my brother and I as having no limits as what we can accomplish. She was an amazing Mom. If she were alive today so much would be different I'm sure.
As I write this, I see so many parallels between my Mom and me. I am so grateful for the years we had together. I am grateful for the fact that she saw no limits for my brother and I to achieve. I miss her pushing us to be better to do more to be more. Yet, I now see that's where my drive stems from.
I am sad for a moment, missing her, missing my family which was so brutally torn apart. Yet I know.. she truly is here with me in my heart.
Thank you Mom. Thank you for all you were, all you continue to do and for the values you bestowed upon us. I hope you're are smiling down on us, yet firmly pushing us forward to achieve all that we are meant to. A Mother's job is never done! I know we will see you again. I hope you're in peace and enjoying that sunshine. I love you, I love you, I love you! We love you, We love you, We love you!
Continue to watch over us!