I’d like to try to make a difference in other’s lives by sharing my story. This morning I woke up having a heavy heart. My husband saved a life this weekend. A veteran who was wanting to kill himself. Suicide…the taboo word!!
I’m not a writer. I’ve always struggled getting my words out on paper, or from my mouth, too:-)) But I think it’s time I try, you know.
You know when you just feel like there’s something more out there that is weighing heavy on your heart, but you just can’t seem to put your finger on what it is? I’ve been feeling this heavy weight for some time now, and I think I know what it is.
I grew up in a very loving home in Louisiana with my mom and dad, an older brother and and an older sister. Our parents did anything for us. We were not rich at all. We had supper on the table every night and we ate as a family at the dinner table. We went to church every Sunday, and when we had time to play, we played outside making mud pies. My brother, sister, and I made good grades and had lots of friends.
I grew up and went to college. Got married and started a family. The normal societal way.
The date was December 7, 1996. It was a Saturday. I was 26 years old with an 18 month old. My now ex-husband and I were about to head out of the door with our son to a friend’s house. We were going to have supper and help decorate their Christmas tree with their children. It was the most wonderful time of the year! That’s what you do!
It was a little after lunch. The house phone rang and I picked it up. This was before cell phones. I got the phone call that changed my life. My sister-in-law’s mother was on the other end and told me that my father had just shot himself and my mother was not able to talk to me at the moment because she was going into shock.
I said, “Wait, what?” She repeated herself, and I remember getting very light headed, and shaky. Everything got blurry and I felt like I was floating. I then remember saying, “Is he alive?”. And I don’t really remember her answer, but it was obvious that he was not. She asked me to call my sister and to please come to the house as soon as I could. I lived 2.5 hours away. I remember hanging up the phone and I don’t remember telling my ex-husband anything. Maybe I did…I do remember calling my sister and screaming into the phone and saying things I shouldn’t have like, “I told them to take the guns out of the house! I told mom to take him to see a doctor!” Trying to find blame, I guess.
You see, my dad had mentioned suicide a number of times to some of us. To his best friend, to my mom, to my brother. My dad had chronic back pain that led him to pain pills and lack of mobility. I remember talking to my mom about it a few weeks earlier and I told her that she needed to take him to see someone for his mental health. She told me that he wouldn’t go because he said that he wasn’t “crazy”. Why didn’t I take off of work and take him myself? I’ll never know. That time probably haunts me more than the actual suicide itself.
No one really knows how one would react in a situation like this. I do remember the 2.5 hour drive to get there in my little Toyota Corolla with my 18 month old son in the back seat. I was in shock. I remember feeling very dizzy and my thoughts were very foggy. I didn’t say a word the whole way. My ex-husband drove, and I remember him driving very fast. I also remember looking back at my son, Cole, and I could tell by the look in his eyes when he looked at me that he knew something was wrong and he was worried.
When we got there, the driveway was full of cars. I remember walking in the house and only looking for my mom. There were people everywhere. I didn’t let anyone else touch me or talk to me. I even remember my aunt trying to hug me and console me and I pushed her away. I got to my mom and she was hysterical. She was sitting on the couch screaming with tons of people in the house. When she saw me she said, “Oh Ginger, I’m not going to make it.” She just kept saying that over and over. I remember finally saying, “Yes you will, momma! You have to. There’s no other choice. You have to get through this.”
A lot of that day is a huge blur, along with the entire week following. We buried my dad a few days later and I do remember having diarrhea for like all week. I guess my body was reacting to everything going on. I took a week off of work and my sister and I stayed with my mom.
We were living a nightmare that we couldn’t wake up from.
That was beginning of a whole new life for me and my family.
I tell you all of this because I feel like I need it to come out. I’ve been holding this in for years and years. Coming up on 23 years this December. My mom passed away on December 11, 2018 from colon cancer. After my dad died, she just went through life completely different and even though she knew she was sick at least 3 years before she saw a doctor, she never wanted to go to the doctor. She would lie to us and tell us that she went to the doctor and everything was fine. She held a lot things in. I often wonder about how life really was for her after daddy died.
So that’s all I have for now. It’s time to get back to painting and working on my little Gin’s Den business.
Stay tuned for more:-)
Every Day Talk To God.