If I can give anyone any kind of advice it would be that you should never say goodbye to someone you love. One scenario in my life I will never forget involved me saying goodbye to a person I really loved.
It was a cool Christmas Eve in 2006 when I got the holler to come to the phone. It was my mom. I never knew that this would be the last time I’d ever get to speak to her. “Hello?” I said confused. “Hey honey it’s mom!” “Hey did you get the plane ticket?” I said enthused as if I was excited. “No baby I couldn’t find one I’m really sorry.”
I felt my throat clog up and hatred build in my heart. I hung up the phone telling her bye and that I knew she had the money but she went and blew it on pot. She didn’t know my brother called two days before and told me that mom said she found a ticket and she had the money. I didn’t say anything about it but looking back now I think I should have.
I went on through the night as if I’d never talked to my mom. I tried not to think about it because it aggravated me so bad. I went home that night and opened my presents at my house and explained to my dad and step-mom how I felt about my mom not getting the plane ticket. It seemed as if they were on my mom’s side. I was naïve so I got mad at them as well. I went to bed that night thinking I was getting up at 7:30 am to go to my nanny’s since I wasn’t going to Iowa to see my mom.
I woke up and started to get my clothes together when my dad walked into my room and told me to have a seat. I thought I was in trouble for showing my frustration toward them the night before but it was the total opposite. I noticed that my step-mom was nowhere to be found from the time I woke up until the time she walked into my room crying. My mind was boggled. My dad broke me the news that my mom had been killed in a car wreck last night and that we were headed to Iowa for the funeral.
So my parents left me in my room to reflect on what just happened and told me they were here for me and that we needed to leave soon. It was early in the morning so the news still didn’t officially hit me until I got to my grandparents. It was a cold and silent ride to Summerville. All I can remember is telling myself that it wasn’t true. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe she was in the hospital and the story got mixed between the people. My family has had a history of making things more dramatic than they really are. I kept the truth out of my head until I saw her body lying in that pearl white casket. We pulled into the drive and tears began to down my face like an open faucet when I saw my grandfather crying for the first time in my life.
Seeing a grown man cry like that put my heart through a blender. Good-bye is harder to say than I love you for the simple fact that once you say that there’s no turning back. It’s like paint on a wall, the only way to get rid of it is to cover it up and to never mention it. Ever since then my father and I, as well as my step-mom, never say good-bye after talking, we only say I love you. Never say good-bye…
R.I.P Terri Lee Petit
“Resting with those she loves, looking over those she left.”
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