July 31 …included a trip to the dentist for Michelle and Robert’s semi-annual check up and cleaning. I remember sitting on the love seat in the waiting room with her. I remember she had brought the book she was reading, The Mark of Athena. A dog eared page still rests on page 456 out of 586 pages. “What’s left unread.” I couldn’t bear to return that book to the library. My friend’s son works at the library and I quickly asked her if I could just purchase it. Yes, indeed. It was taken care of by my most special friend. That book sits on her dresser where she left it.
August 1….what I remember is Michelle sleeping in. She entered the kitchen where I was at the time….I remember the spot where we both stood….I remember grabbing her to hug her….and she resisted saying, “Oh I thought you were going to tickle me.” I said, “No, I wanna hug you.” She of course, returned the hug to me.
Around 2pm I had to take my parents to their dentist appointment. She was awaiting my arrival home because the plan was for ‘the gang’ to meet up at one of the houses. She was ready when I got back and no sooner than I walked in the house, we left. I remember we talked the whole way over. I remember asking her how late she’d be. I remember her saying, “Not too late because I don’t wanna make Dad come out late because I know he gets up early for work.” Typical Michelle fashion. I remember saying, “It’s ok. I’m sure 10 or 11pm would be fine.” I remember my route to drop her off.
I remember stopping at the end of the driveway…..I think the last thing I said to her was “Take pictures! Love you.” I was always telling her that. Standard. I loved seeing pics of her and her friends having fun. She always laughed at me when I told her that and seldom took pictures. She was too busy enjoying the moments to stop and capture it with a photo. (I’ve yet to look at the camera strip on her phone to see if she took any that day). She got out of the car with her backpack (Filled with Shrek movies and a blanket) and arms filled with 2 – 2 liters, leftover from Thomas’ grad party. I waited. It was a long driveway. She walked a short bit and she turned around and smiled at me. I waited. I watched til she got to the turn into the doorway and she left my line of vision and I pulled away.
That was it.
My frantic attempt to call her cell phone at a time I specifically will never forget, went unanswered. I’ve yet to look at her call log and see her missed call from “mom” at that time on 8/1/17 ….the day and moment my world stopped. The day and moment my heart stopped it’s normal beat.
Keith and I often wonder if Michelle’s friends, classmates, family members, other parents….do they remember where they were? What they were doing? Who told them? We know we play the scenario over and over. By our choice, we know very few details. But those questions above are something we’ve always wondered. And just how did the news of Michelle’s death spread so quickly…..?
I remember this….She took my heart with her. She was my whole heart. She is my whole heart. I’m forever changed.
And so I wait. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t play out our reunion in Heaven. I never thought I had so many tears. But so far, there have been 365 days of straight tears. I often wonder when the day will be that the tears will end……Probably never. How can you regret love?