Looking for the reasons
(Kents Store, VA)
People always say that things happen for a reason. I'm still trying to find the reasons for suffering so many losses in less than 12 months. It started after losing our 11-year old chocolate lab who was like a child between my current husband and I. When we met & married we both already had kids (me 3 girls & him 2 girls) and were happy to blend our family but not add more. We decided "our" children would be the four-legged kind. After Diva lost the use of her back legs, our family made the heartbreaking decision to allow her to go peacefully and avoid any further pain or suffering. We drove an hour to get our daughter who was at college and Diva's best friend that evening and all went together on Sunday, April 11, 2011 to say goodbye as a family. My only regret was that we didn't take our yellow lab who was Diva's younger sister and knew something was wrong. Ten days later I lost my dad after a horrific year battling Alzheimers and watching the most quiet & giving man become verbally & finally physically abusive towards his wife of 54 years and others around him. After trying to care for him at home, we watched as she had to send the man she loved & had lived with for so long to a nursing home almost an hour away and cope with the silence at home every evening when she came home from work. The staff called her on a Tuesday and said they had called in hospice due to his condition. By Friday, April 22, 2011 he was gone. Although we all knew that he was at peace and no longer struggling to fight with his mind about his life, it was still hard to let him go. In September, we had shipped two of our daughters off to college and began to settle in for the senior year of our youngest daughter. My husbands oldest was married and our grandchild was a treasure at 1.5 years old. My oldest was struggling along with so many others trying to find a job after losing her previous one in December 2010. She was 22 and considering going to the local community college to pursue a degree in hopes of finding a job. My husband was finally seeing a turn around in his business as a car sales manager and my job was looking positive as well. That all changed at 2 am on Friday, September 16, 2011. What we thought was a dream became a horrible reality. The knocks on our door were real and continued until my husband opened it. I vaguely heard men talking, but then I heard "I'm sorry" and my husband call my name in a manner I had never heard. When I approached my living room I knew instantly - I knew what I was about to hear when I saw two state troopers standing in my house. After being in the law enforcement field for 20 years, you know that if a family member is arrested or hurt in an accident you receive a phone call and not a visit from your local authorities. They confirmed my worst nightmare and informed me that my oldest, 22-year old daughter Ashley died in a single vehicle accident at approx. 11pm on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011. We would later learn that she lost control on the interstate and flipped the car, suffering fatal injuries after being ejected. She was not wearing her seatbelt, even though she knew the risks of doing this. The only comfort I had was that she died instantly and did not suffer. The regret I have is that I couldn't say goodbye. Not even at the service. Because of her injuries we had to have a closed casket. No matter how much work the funeral home did, they would not be able to make her look like our Ashley. She was 6 miles from home and still we don't know exactly what happened. Notifying my mother and her sisters were the hardest things I've ever done. Her youngest sister heard the yelling & crying in the house and came out of her bedroom to only be given the worst news of her young 17 years. They had become close after her other sisters had gone off to college. When I made the hour long drive at 5am on Friday to have police help us into the dorms at my middle daughters college, I kept asking myself "why?" When we woke my daughter and I told her, that was also her question "Mommy, why does this keep happening to us?" As a mother you want to protect your children and you want to be able to give them the answers they are seeking. This time I couldn't and I felt so helpless. I felt so alone as a parent even though my husband was right there beside me. The next week is still a blur to me. There are days when I relive the entire week and I still can't remember everything that went on. All I can remember is that horrible knocking on my door and the empty bedroom upstairs now that I still haven't been able to go through. And today I sit here typing this because even though I tried to take the time from work to grieve and get through the holidays (her birthday was 11-23 the day before thanksgiving) and then Christmas, I was terminated from my job in January because I took off too much and continued to have days of depression that caused me to miss work. I was happy in my job and expected to stay there for a long time. But now, just as with the loss of our dog, my dad and my daughter, the loss of my job has me asking that same question for the 4th time in 10 months - "WHY? WHAT IS THE REASON?"