The last day of "normal"...
7:45 - Mark was on his way to drop off the kids to school. Isa was first at Carl Munck - then to Skyline for Keila, Alana & I believe Aaron too - then all the way to Claremont to drop Jin off. This morning, Jin mentioned that one thing she remembers was the view of the sunrise each morning on her way to school. I love it when the kids recognize the beauty of God’s creation! I feel like Mark and I helped them learn to appreciate that caliber of beauty -so great that many take for granted…
After all the drop off’s, I’d get a BBM telling me he missed me already. Like clockwork! I am not a morning person, so he’d message me to see if I fell back asleep after he kissed me goodbye for the day. On BlackBerry Messenger, he was able to see if I had read the message he sent, so if I didnt reply or if he saw that I hadn’t read it, he would would give me a wake-up call before heading in to work at Best Buy. That morning, he had to call me.
For some reason, majority of the conversations I remember having with him that day had to do with laundry. I desperately needed to do a couple loads and needed him to get quarters on his way home. He had so much going on that he often forgot things like that which is why I was his daily reminder of things needed. Funny thing is, he was the same for me in some things. Mainly, my wake-up calls and my reminders to take my meds throughout each day. Ahhh…we completed each other.
A family of five w/ one means of transportation was such a pain sometimes! I can see the blessings in the pain now…but back then it was so frustrating! And it didn’t help any that he refused to let me take public transportation or to walk around Oakland. I remember the few times I had to in order to get to school or back - he made sure to be on the phone with me the entire time. Gosh, I miss my security guard:/.
I wish I did all the drop-off’s to school and work now. It woulda been nice to have those extra moments to spend together. But, gas was ALWAYS an issue in our Suburban (aka-“Bubz”).
I miss that 2004, charcoal grey, gas-guzzler, oddly. I never really thought about it till now. Sometimes it felt like we lived in that “boat”! So many memories. Music, laughing, back-scratching, debates, hand holding, stories, mess, joking, eating, yelling, lecturing, grossing the kids out w/ our mushiness…MARK!
3:54 - Right about now, a year ago, Mark had gotten home w/ the kids. Jin told me today that she remembers the ride home from school that day. Mark had a bunch of mini-starbursts from halloween and would open some, hand some to Jin, then throw some to Isa in the far back row of the truck. He always meant to take a power nap on Wednesdays before worship practice in Lafayette, but not that day. He sat in front of his computer instead. He was browsing www.christianaudio.com for the next audiobook for us to get.
6’ish - That night, I didnt go to worship practice because I wasnt gonna sing the following Sunday since my sisters and I were scheduled to be outta town for our semi-annual sistah’s getaway. My heart breaks everytime I think of not going. I’d give anything to have been with him worshiping and praying for the last time…
While he was gone, I downloaded “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper. It was the free audiobook of the month and we always enjoyed his books.
10’ish - I don’t remember what time he got home, but I do remember him asking me to copy the audiobook onto his micro-sd so he can listen to it from his blackberry. I did, while he went to sleep since he had to work later.
I’m not 100% sure about the times after Mark went to sleep, but here’s the gist of what went down (copied from my original post from December 2 at 10:37pm):
"I still remember waking you up for work…you downing your Strawberry Muscle Milk shake w/ frozen strawberries…sitting on the couch talking about our plans for the next few days…you tucking me in on the couch where I was catching up on all the DVR’d shows…you kissing me goodbye and telling me you love me…me saying my usual "I Love You MORE"…then for the first time ever, you said "no, I Love You MORE" then closed the door fast so I didn’t have a chance to reply. I remember thinking "oh nu-uh!" and was gonna run out to you to set you straight, but you had tucked me in so comfy… Dang, I wish I did now:(."
Minutes later (it seemed…really about 2 hours later), I heard voices and footsteps outside that came closer and closer to the front door. My first reaction was to stay completely quiet. Living in the area we did, I was afraid it was either someone about to try and rob us - or just some drunk kids taking a shortcut to the apartments/homes behind us. Then came the knock on the security gate. I remember jumping up and turning off the lights and was about to look for something I could use as a weapon when Keila came out of her room and said “mommy, it’s the police!” (The window in her room is right next to the front door.)
"I remember the knock on the door…the police officers and your parents telling me what happened…then complete disbelief! I was numb. There was no way this was happening! I kept telling the officers that what they were telling me was impossible because I just sat with you on the very couch they were sitting on a couple hours before! I said "we were just talking about getting quarters for the laundry and his nephews birthday party on Saturday." That’s the only specific thing I recall saying to them. The rest of the time I was talking out loud to the Lord, begging for this to not be happening. I didn’t even cry…I couldn’t believe it enough to cry about it! It wasn’t until Pastor Ron and Kimberly, then my parents and sisters walked in that I began to realize that I wasn’t in the middle of a nightmare…
The rest of the day was a blurr. Ate Lane said I would weep deeply, then fall asleep. Then wake up weeping, then fall asleep again. I can’t even picture it! I’m a quiet crier. I can’t remember the last time (before this) that I’ve cried out loud, let alone weeping!”
As described best by Jerry Sittser in his book, A Grace Disguised, "I faced the test of my life. One phase of my life had ended; another, the most difficult, was about to begin.
And that was the last day of “normal” I’ll ever know…