I lost almost everyone that mattered one bitterly cold day in February. My seven year old son, my five year old daughter, my mother, my husband of eight years. The roads were icy, the mountain pass dark in the early winter evening. The road was narrow and the lanes undivided. And the descent was steep, steeper still after the truck hit us. The guardrail folded like rice paper, and our Suburban took us down the slope like an anchor, shedding pieces great and small as it slid, rolled, flipped and battered its way down three hundred feet of rocky hillside.
If it were a movie, we'd have exploded, and it would have been merciful. More merciful than waking with glass all over my clothes, my neck so sore I thought it broken, and surrounded by the bodies of my family. If it were a movie, I would wake up and it would prove a dream. Or a nightmare, but I'd wake and my husband would smile at me and I'd be gasping for breath, relieved that it was nothing real.
My father and I crawled out of the ruin that was my husband's Chevrolet. I sat on a rock and stared. I felt nothing but neck pain, a distant throbbing that should instead have been my heart exploding from grief. But I lived. Sort of.
After that day in February, all I had was my father. All he had was me. God knew if it was enough. I didn't think so.
Kat's Kitty Korner