I came downstairs early while the house was still dark, quietly clicked on the TV, and began watching the news to plan my day.
Would they cancel school because of the snow? Would I have hot lunch duty? Could I keep my coffee date with a friend? And then, suddenly on the screen of my TV, they displayed the date, “December 10th”.
My stomach formed a deep, painful knot and the tears began to flow.
Today’s date, “December 10th” represents to me…
I’ve tried to reframe the day, sleep it away, pretend it doesn’t exist. Stuffing doesn’t work, nor does numbing. My heart and mind are triggered back to that painful night instantly when I see the date.
December 10th wasn’t always such a hard day. In fact, for many weeks, we were looking forward to December 10th.
My fiance David and I were in the midst of planning our upcoming May 1st wedding. I had my dress and bridesmaids and maid of honor. We had the church and reception hall and DJ. David had my ring.
We had so many other wedding details yet to plan. However, I also had a huge licensing review at work to be completed on December 10th. Although I was eagerly anticipating planning my wedding, I needed to focus on my work project first. Once that was finished, I could give the wedding planning my all.
And then everything changed.
I arrived at my parents home after my licensing review on December 10, 1998 to pick up my 4 year old son Jake. Whew! I can start planning my wedding now. Yippee!!
David called to see how it went at work. “Fabulous”, I shared! He wanted to hear all about it, but instead I insisted he wrap things up at work so I could tell him in person. It was 5:15 PM. “Great”, David replied. “I need to check on one more thing at work, see if your brother Bryan is here, and then I’ll be by to pick up you and Jake as quick as I can. Let’s go out and celebrate! I should be there in 30 minutes.”
I stretched out on the couch, exhausted, waiting for David to come.
He never came.
Even though I had slightly dozed off on the couch, I heard the phone ring. And then I heard the whispering. My mom and dad came in the family room and stood over me. “Cindy”, my mom shared, “there’s been an accident. Your brother Bryan just called from work. David’s been in an accident.”
Shoot! We were supposed to go to the Michael W. Smith concert tomorrow. Did he break his arm? Would we need to give away our tickets? No big deal. I’d spend the weekend in a hospital chair near his bed if needed. Wherever David was is where I wanted to be.
“Where is he?” I asked. Did I need to meet him at the hospital? Could I drive him there myself??
“Cindy, we just need to pray”, my mom responded.
Suddenly I realized David just didn’t break his arm. I ran upstairs and began calling my friends to pray. I had only been a Christian for 2 years, but I could tell in my mom’s voice that we needed prayer. And quickly.
And then, while I was on the other line with a friend, my brother Bryan called.
“How is he, Bry??” I asked.
“Cindy, let me talk to mom.”
“No, Bry, first tell me how David is. Do I need to come to work?? Is he already at the hospital?”
“Cindy, let me talk to mom.”
“Bry, just tell me…”
And then my brother shared the painful, life changing, gut wrenching words….
“I’m sorry Cindy, he’s gone….”
I ran down the stairs weeping and wailing. My parents, unaware that Bryan had called, watched as I threw myself down on the hard wood floor and began pounding my fists in the ground. “No! No! No!” was all I could say….
Before long, their house was filled with people.
My best friend Michele…who “just knew” to come, even before she heard what happened.
My pastor and his wife.
So many others.
At one point, I cleared everyone out of the room, except my pastor friend Rob. We sat on my parents steps while I wept. Through my tears I asked him over and over again, “Why? Why? Why would God allow this?”
David often said he would give his life for just one person to know Jesus. WHY would God take him home??…….
And this painful, long, heart-breaking night is what I remember everytime I see or hear “December 10th”.
In an instant, I am back to my parents home. I hear the sounds. I remember the loss. I feel the pain.
Thank you, dear bloggy friends, for allowing me to share this part of my journey with you. Today was the first time I’ve ever typed out the details of the night. God does not waste our pain ~ of this, I am sure.
And thank you to my husband John for his extra sensitivity and grace on this day. John is God’s special gift to me.
May we experience all that He has for us today.
Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know the One who holds the future…and He is faithful and loving and true. It’s gonna be ok.
P.S. Remember how I shared that David said he would give his life for just one person to know Jesus. Two days later, at David’s funeral, my Dad (who had been an atheist/agnostic) accepted Jesus as His Savior!