Friday, March 23, 2012

my world changed this day...

My Aunt Sharmon taught me so much as I was growing up.  
She was more like my very cool older sister.  I remember when I was young, like real young, hanging out in the back room of our house on Effie Street with her and her friends.  They would all be playing quarters, listening to Salt-n-Pepa.  I thought she was the coolest!  She hated her name.  She tried telling everyone her name was Shannon.  People would call the house asking for Shannon and my Pawpaw would go off about it, on her and them.  

She was the first to let me try smoking and drinking.  It had to be someone right?  In some way, it made me know I could always trust her.  I talked to her about everything.  To this day, convos I would not feel comfortable having with anyone but her.  She was always there for me.  Brutally honest when I needed it and a sympathetic ear, when I couldn't handle it.  She was the first one in my family who knew about when my husband and I eloped.  She was the first I told about being pregnant with my son. She was so incredibly excited for us.  For a while she had been wanting to have another baby.  Her plan was to vicariously live through me on this one.  A month before I was suppose to deliver I decided Alabama was no longer where I wanted to be.  So back to Virginia we went.  It broke her heart.  It was part of the plan that she was even going to be in the delivery room.  I think that our decision to move back to Virginia was one of the hardest things I ever had to tell her.  

J was just short of three months old when I got the call from my Mammaw that day.  All I heard was her crying.  I had no idea what was going on.  I was crying before I knew what was even wrong cause I had never heard her in pain like that.  She kept saying it but I couldn't understand her.  She shouted, she is dead.  That time, I heard her. 

My husband held me.  I held my newborn son.
I thought of her children, my cousins.  My cousins who called me sissy growing up.  This moment defined that I was not their sister.  I had not just lost my mom.  They did.  

She was on her way home.  She worked as a teacher in her church's preschool program.  My Aunt Sharmon had been killed in a car accident.  The non-licensed, prescription drug abusing, driver of an F-150 came around a curve to fast, into her lane, hit her Honda accord and flipped on top of it.  She was killed instantly.  

Our family forever changed. 
Our family was in pieces and nobody had the strength to pick us up.  She was always that person for us.  My mom moved to Mississippi to help care for my Aunts family.  My mother and stepfather had been together since I was eight.  An understatement would be to say it was a rough marriage.  This is when they gave up.   

My cousins were given different opportunities by family members to live with them.  What seemed like the easy path at the time, led to rough times.  The oldest is now 24.  She never finished school.  She has four children.  Her life is a constant struggle.  My other cousin, who is 16 now, just found out his 14 year old girlfriend is pregnant.  He has been expelled from numerous schools.  He is hoping to get into a military school.  I pray he does.  I cannot help but think how their lives would be different, had she been here.  I cannot help but think how their lives would be different, if she had a plan in place for the unimaginable.  

This day marks eight years.  

I can still hear her laugh.  I can see her smile.  I can see us riding in the night with the music loud, singing off key, from Picayune to Slidell, just to get a chocolate daiquiri.  I hold on to her words of advice.  Gems like "having a tan, makes you look skinnier" and much more.  I wish she were here for me to talk to, to hold my babies, to hold her babies, to hold her babies, babies.  

I miss her more than I know how to put into words.  



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