I was scared. I was afraid to say those words. There is finality in those words.
I knew what those words would do.
They were going to hurt our children.
Those words would bring thousands of unanswered questions; very early on in life.
Those words would close that chapter; forever.
I hung up the phone with my son’s school counselor. Their grandfather asked me where I wanted to talk the kids. He also asked me if I wanted them in the room with me to help me.
I chose their bed.
They have fond memories of Granny & Papa’s bed. It was always made and had lots of pillows. They watched movies in Granny & Papa’s bed; all four of them. They played on Granny & Papa’s bed. There are lots of pictures of them on Granny & Papa’s bed. It was a safe zone.
I asked them to let me do this alone.
I called each one of them in Granny & Papa’s room. The boys climbed up on the bed as I lifted my daughter up.
I just looked at them for a second. The younger three were playing. Our oldest sat there waiting patiently. He never took his eyes off of me.
I settled down the other three.
The time was getting closer and how I dreaded this.
“There was an accident. Daddy got hurt really bad… “
I started to cry.
Only one understood what that meant.
I remember his eyes.
His eyes got big; really big.
I saw him swallow, but he did not cry.
I knew what he was doing.
He was trying to be a ‘Big Boy’, like Daddy. He was also going into auto-pilot.
All of the questions came; most of them were childlike questions. They were children after all.
Daddy was on oil rig. He wasn’t diving because the water was too choppy. He had to wait until the weather cleared and the waves went down. He had called a friend of his to see if there was something he could do; until he could dive again. He had never been on a rig before. This was his first time. He was only supposed to be there, on that rig, for a few weeks.
It was raining that night. They say it was raining sideways; hard.
Something had broken loose. It needed to be fixed.
It was the kelly hose.
Daddy was taking the kelly hose out of the kelly shuck.
Some say something fell. Some say the Kelly hose started whipping around.
The reports say that the Kelly hose hit Daddy in the head.
Daddy fell down.
They tried CPR on Daddy. It didn’t work.
The ambulance was called.
The ambulance got lost.
They had to put Daddy in the back of a pickup truck to meet the ambulance. They put him in a sleeping bag to keep the rain off of him.
Daddy died on January 19th, 2001 around 12:05 am.
I remember Granny & Papa left the door to their bedroom open while I talked. I remember hearing Granny. When I said those words, “Daddy died”, it was too much.
It was too much for all of us.
There is finality in those words.
Nobody wants to ever hear those words.
They are hard words.
Hard to say and hard to get.
I knew that most of the processing would come later on in life. I knew this. They were too young; most of them to understand.
One understood; as best he could.
We worried about him.
He was trying to be strong.
He was on auto-pilot.
I remember how much we worried about him. Papa and I were like mother hens. We were always watching him. We were waiting for him to come out of auto-pilot. We wanted him to come out of auto-pilot. And yet, we gave him time. He needed time. He wasn’t ready.
He came out of auto-pilot a few days later.
It broke my heart; in a million pieces.
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