It was a typical spring day on April 6th 2007. I was on the phone with my dad, “Bye baby girl, I love you” I smiled into the cold, hard plastic, and smelled the smell of dust on the phone. “Bye daddy, I can’t wait to see you next month, I love you” I heard the soft hum of a chuckle, and then his deep southern baritone voice a second later, “Bye baby doll, now hand the phone back to your mama please” I nodded, even though I knew he couldn’t see me, and then did as he told me. I waited until my mom started to talk before I walked back to my room to play with my toys.
“Stephanie, what are you doing?” I heard my Grandma call down the hall, and I called back instantly, ”Playing in my room” I heard her get up and walk down the hall, and she opened my room to give me a gentle smile, ”okay, I was just wondering, supper will be ready in about an hour”. I nodded, and she left to go cook. When she left I got onto my bed, and snuggled my favorite stuffed bear,” I wonder how far Florida is Bear Blue.” I lifted his arms, attempting to make him shrug, and giggled. I yawned and curled up, and fell asleep.
I woke up an hour later, and smelled my favorite supper, chicken, potatoes, and peas. I grinned, and hopped out of bed, and ran down the hall, ignoring the loud scolding I got, and then plopped down in my chair, and started to eat, my mind blank of anything that could go wrong in four days from now.
It was April 10th, 2007, and I had been home from school for at least an hour and twelve minutes. I thought the day was a normal day, I mean nothing bad had happened yet , but my thoughts changed at 4:30. The phone rang, and it rang repeatedly to the point of me wanting to smash it, but I was in my room, and I was supposed to be doing my math homework. My mom did not ignore it and she didn’t smash the phone either, but, she did answer it. It wasn’t even 2 minutes after she picked that dreaded thing up that she wailed out,” NO! He can’t be!!” I was so confused on what was going on, so I walked down the hall way, and into the living room, where my mom was on the couch, sobbing her heart out into her hands. I was alarmed by it, because she never ever cried.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” I asked softly, almost scared to touch her shaking body. She looked up at me with glassy grey eyes, puffy and red from crying, and stared into my green eyes, “sweetheart… Take a seat...” she said in between sobs, and I listened, and sat down, “remember that trip you were going to go on to see your dad?” I nodded, and I had a sick feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t going to go, “ yeah… So?” she took a deep breath, and uttered the eleven words that made my world and mind stop right then and there, “you can’t go... You’re dad died earlier today... I’m so sorry baby girl” I blinked, and my head was swimming, trying to process the information given to me, and all I could say was one word, “why?” I felt my heart sink, and next thing I knew, the warm feeling of tears was running down my face. The warm fabric of my mom’s shirt pulled me into a hug, and I cried into her shirt for what felt like forever. “I know baby... I know” I felt my mom’s hand rub against my back soothingly, and I felt some tears hit my head as my mom started to cry again. When my mind cleared up, I looked up at my mom, “mom… why did dad die?” she closed her eyes a bit, and then slumped down, “I don’t know sweetie… I don’t know...”
That night, I held a vigil in my room, and for the first time in my life, I prayed. “Daddy, if you’re out there, I hope you went to heaven, I really miss you, you know that daddy?” I whimpered, but kept on going, fresh tears brimming my closed eyelids, “I love you daddy…why did you leave me? I thought you loved me… I’m going to miss you so much...” I couldn’t take it. I broke down into a heap on the floor, crying my eyes out. It took until midnight for me to get to sleep, my eyes were sore from crying so much, and I was emotionally, and mentally worn out. I woke back up at two in the morning, and saw this ball of light fly across my bedroom, and it hovered above me, and all I could smell as old spice and country wood and flowers. All I could hear was my heart beating rapidly as I stared at the light, and just above a whisper, I could hear the words, " love… you..” in a faint, but clear baritone voice with a southern accent.