Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Shock

My mom was so content while she was with us; she read and did her puzzles and hung out.  She was another body in our house she made it easier to face each day with her as a buffer against the reality that Rick was gone.

Jack’s birthday was on the fourth of June and my dad was planning on coming for the weekend.  Rick and I always celebrated our kids’ birthdays with Karen and Paul.  My dad arrived and that afternoon.  He was very happy to see my mom.  Steve, Karen, Paul and the cousins came for the party.  It was a beautiful night and the sun was out until late.  The kids were playing in the backyard and Karen asked me if Jack could spend the night.  I was fine with it if he wanted to go. 

Jack was very excited about going and I went into his room to get him packed up.  He ran and got his toothbrush.  I packed his pajamas and a change of clothes.  We said good bye to them and then they all got in their van and left.  I put on the kettle to get my parents a cup of tea.  We were sitting in the living room when the phone rang.  It was Karen; she was crying and talking loud and fast.  I had no idea what she was saying.  She told me she was bringing Jack back over.  I was alarmed but had no clue what was going on.

Karen drove the van into the drive and walked up to the house with Jack.  He looked very sobered for a birthday boy.  Jack came and sat by me.  “What’s up?” I said as the tea kettle whistled.  “Jack, please go turn it off, hon?”I said.  Jack went into the kitchen and Karen started telling the story.

 “We were driving down our street and we could see all kinds of emergency equipment in at the end of the court.  We couldn’t figure out what was going on.  When we got near our house, the police didn’t want us to go all the way down.  Paul told them that we lived at 120 and they let us through.  When we got out of the van, Lori, our neighbor walked up crying and told us that Kendall had drowned in the Valencia’s pool.  I just can’t believe it; she was only eight!” “Who is Kendall?”  I asked. 

Karen explained that the little girl lived down the street from them and had come to swim in the pool next door. Her mom walked her down to the Valencia’s house; she wanted to speak to Valencia’s so they knew that Kendall couldn’t swim.  Evidently, the kids were playing “Marco Polo" and she slipped underwater and nobody noticed.  When Kendall was finally found, someone called 911 and sent a person across the street to get Pam, a nurse, to help.  Pam tried to resuscitate her but Kendall was already dead.

“My kids are a wreck!  I can’t believe they have had another friend die; this is the third and with Rick.  It’s too much.  I have to get back.  I thought Jack would prefer to be here tonight,” she said as she stood to say goodbye again.  “I’m glad he’s home, thanks, Karen,” I said and she left.

My parents sat with Jack and me and he told us what he saw.  "There were a bunch of trucks and lights flashing everywhere.  Everyone was crying. I knew Kendall, Mom; she played on the street with us,” he said. I gave him a hug and asked him if he wanted some tea.  He was okay but it had rocked him.  “I can’t believe she’s dead, Mom,” he kept repeating.  “I know, Jack, I’m here; it’s going to be okay.” I said.

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