8/26 The Book of August

Debra's pondIt was nearly 10:30 at night, I was dressed for bed, alone in my apartment when the phone rang.  There was sobbing at first and I couldn’t understand, then he said “I lost one of our babies.”  I said “Who!”  No answer, just sobs.  I said “Debra?”  yes.  “She drowned?”    He answered weakly …….. yes.

Exactly one week before, while driving down the highway,  out of the blue Debra asked me what I thought would be the worst way to die. Cancer was my immediate thought,  to which she replied, but at least you’d be able to say your goodbyes.  I agreed that’s true, but added that so many people suffer such awful pain dying with cancer.  She said she thought drowning would be the worst way to die because she knew how panicked you’d feel, not being able to get breath.  So it wasn’t much of a leap for me to have guessed.

I couldn’t stop the screaming until after I was hoarse.   Repeated phone calls were made back and forth between myself,  my mom and dad and sister Helen and my best friend Pat.   I was in Wisconsin, they were in Southern Illinois and Mary & Debra were in Kentucky.  It was all confusion and pain and crying and unanswered questions.   My ex-husband called a second time to tell me that they hadn’t been able to find her body yet, but that the rescue squad had immediately found her bathing suit wrapped up on the propeller blade of the houseboat.  I remember slamming against the wall and screaming that I couldn’t hear anymore.  Now the images were even worse–brutal and bloody.  It was all horror and agony.  The chest pains acute and gripping.  There was no fear on my part though that it could be an impending heart attack–that would have been a blessing to drop dead.  At least the explosions in my head ceased after the initial onslaught.  I sat awake that night crying and feeling such horrendous pain and loss while awaiting a phone call that the search would resume at daybreak.

Just as she had been pulled from my body with forceps at birth, now she was ripped out of my life.

2 Responses to “8/26 The Book of August”

  1. This is too painful to read. The horror of the brutal images in your mind make it difficult for me to breath.


  2. Roxann Hutchison Says:

    You need to share…tell your story…some will listen and be forever changed…and not in a bad way.


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