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19 years ago today, it happened.  You went to heaven.
As I sat at my kitchen table in our newly purchased Townhome, working on my National Board Certification, the phone rang.
Papers were spread out everywhere. My mind processed my lessons as I wrote about my National Board Projects.
The man asked for my husband.
He was playing intramural volleyball with his NCSU Vet School buddies.
After dating for 8 years, we had been married for a year and a half.
“This is his wife. Could I take a message?”
the guy told me.
He shared the words that you, “Sort of died.”
I remember how those words choked me.
He told me about a car accident on the Atlanta interstate.
The other person in the car with you survived. You did not.

I remember how my husband collapsed on me as I told him the news when he got home.
I remember how we tried to call and locate your parents. It was a Sunday afternoon and we lived 8 hours from them.
I remember how our cat sat on my husband’s lap for the entire trip to Tennessee. She knew that he had lost big and sensed his mental anguish. She never sat on his lap until then. A lot changed that day.
I held on to hope as I would hold my husband in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Later, our family friend, Kathy, shared a dream that an angel was waiting by the edge of the road to carry you home.
I remembered those words as we sat through two court trials and the meetings with lawyers.

I wrote my Victim’s Statement.
Oh, how I told the judge of all that I had lost when the drunk teacher who drove the wrong way down the interstate took your life.
Justice was given but I was given pain. It’s the kind of hurt that has gotten less with time, but still it hits me hard at times to know that you are not a part of our lives anymore.

I needed you to be an uncle to our girls.
I needed to hear your voice and how you and your brother (my husband) would laugh.
I needed to hug you one more time.
I needed to see the sparkle in your eye that was so unique to you.

I wish my children could have known you.
I wish that your parents still could call you and visit.
I wish that my husband didn’t have the lost, far away look that I notice sometimes on his face.

God has walked with us through the valley of the shadow of death.
His presence has been the reason we could breathe again and stop crying.
I trust that God allowed you to get to heaven at the appointed time that He had for you, but it has never felt like the right time for me.

I know that you are with Jesus.
You trusted Him as a child and called on Him to be your Savior.

I miss you, Eric, and especially miss you today.


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