Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I don't think I've ever given an account of exactly happened That Day. So I guess today is the day I bare my soul on this little corner of the internets.

It's been 2 1/2 years, and it still feels as if it happened yesterday. But in some ways, it feels as if a decade has gone by since then.

The day before, I remember we went to my parents' house right next door, and as we were walking home, we spoke about taking pictures in the snow and other inanities. Now that I know that was our last night together, I wish we had talked about more important things. But that's a silly wish now, isn't it?

That Day dawned like any other day. I mean, I don't know exactly what I expected. It's not like anyone ever wakes up and thinks "today's the day my husband is going to die". I got up, went to the bathroom, and then woke him up. I was so happy that he now had a normal work schedule (he'd been working 3 am-11 am for the past year, and had recently been moved to a 9-5 schedule). I remember preparing his lunch, and looking through the kitchen window and seeing him move around outside. I think he was putting away some garbage cans or something. Whatever, that's not important. We left to work together, since we only had one car at the time. I dropped him off at work, and asked him if he was okay as he'd been pretty quiet the entire car ride. He turned to me and said "yeah, I'm fine." God, why didn't I tell him to play hooky with me? Why couldn't I have done something?

I got to work half an hour later, and after a bit, headed out for some breakfast. When I got back to the office, I settled into work, nibbling at my food. I had left my cell phone in the car, and maybe that was for the best. I later saw that the phone calls started at about 11 am. I remember I was at some gossip site, debating something or other about Beyonce, when I got The Call. My sister asked me if I had heard from Pablo or my mom, and I said no and asked why, and she said no reason. I bitched at her that she was worrying me, and hung up on her. I promptly called his cell, and even though I was used to not getting a response while he was work, this time it was different. I knew something had happened.

My sister called me back a minute or two later, and told me there had been an accident at his job. I screamed NO, and felt as if my stomach had flipped over. I told her to come pick me up, and I squeezed my belly (I was 7 months pregnant), and whispered to myself that I had to stay calm. I went out of my office to tell someone else that I'd be leaving early, but didn't find anyone since they'd all headed out to lunch. An attorney sitting outside my office looked curiously at me, and I told him that I had to leave, if he could please tell the Judge and secretary that I left because of a family emergency. I grabbed my things and rushed out to wait during the 30 longest minutes of my life.

While I waited, I went to my car and got my cell phone. I saw that there were a bunch of missed calls, but I didn't bother with that then. I finally saw my sister and we were off. On our way home, one of Pablo's friends called me and said "I can't believe he's dead!" I screamed at him that no, he wasn't, he couldn't be, and had to hang up. I called my dad and he told me that Pablo was hurt and we'd go to the hospital as soon as I got home. I begged him to please tell me the truth, and that's when I knew. My dad didn't say anything else, but I knew he was just waiting till I got home to tell me the inevitable.

When I got home, I found a bunch of people there, and my dad rushed me in. Before I even took off my coat, he held me in his arms, and told me "The worst has happened". I just collapsed in his arms. (One thing sticks in my memory - my aunt telling my dad "Don't tell her, don't tell her" - they'd have to tell me eventually, no?) I couldn't believe it - my husband was dead. It couldn't be, it couldn't be. Other than my godfather, my dad's brother, who was shot to death back in the late 80s, I'd never had someone close to me die. And now, the person closest to me was dead.

It was time to head to the hospital - I don't know why, it's not like he was on a hospital bed or anything. But we had to go, and now that I think about it, I guess it was so a police officer could tell me what happened. I'm sure he was bracing himself for a freak out, but I just numbly heard that he hadn't made it, and acquiesced when the nurses asked to check my blood pressure and all that.

Later that day, a detective came to my house to ask me about any identifying marks on Pablo's body. I asked the detective if it was prudent for me in my condition to see his body - I wanted nothing more than to say good bye, even if I knew that he wasn't there any longer. He looked at me sadly, and said no, it's be best if I didn't see him. That tore me apart.

Pablo was killed by an explosion. Two other men were also killed. Some acetylene came into contact with a space heater, causing the explosion. We're so frail, and I still can't believe that a little gas could've ripped apart three human beings, and complete families.

I'll write more later, since I've now got Baby Girl asking me why I'm crying and telling me not to be sad.