Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hey, hi. Sorry?

Never here, despite my repeated promises that I will be. Not that it's a life shattering thing for anyone when I'm not - just that I don't like to neglect my friends. But, somehow, I still do.

I'm flitting around, doing my thing. Lots of sports this time of year. On hockey forums. Football. Banned from one. (How was I supposed to know you can't say F*#@'n douchebag?) Geez.

I have not been out for a ride for ages....miss that too. I really don't know what I do with my time, just know that lately it flies by. Too fast...I feel like my life's passing me by and....nothing. Like it's almost Christmas? Is it really? How did that happen?....I was just getting into my summer groove.

I guess this is what happens when you get older. You just wait for time to stop moving so quickly. To stop moving. But, when it does, it's over.

Too deep.

I have a sweet friend at work who I've known since I started. She comes in every day - her son first, then her. They do breakfast and then come over to buy (a lot) of lottery tickets afterward. I really like them - they're down to earth, good people.

I always knew they'd had a rough past - not exactly sure...just knew it had something to do with a drunk driver - they'd mentioned it in passing. But I don't pry...our conversations have been very superficial and breezy...the "hi, how ya doin'?" type.

But Friday, as Millie and I stood there talking, I noticed that she shuddered as a siren screamed past. And she opened up to me, for the first time since I've known her. It's greatly affected me and I can't get her words out of my head:

"I hate that sound. It takes me right back there" she started. "My husband was killed by a drunk driver. I was left, on my own, to raise 4 boys. So I moved out here from Alberta and started over, on my own."

I remember her telling me that she used to live by my Dad's place. I always wondered if I'd known them when I was young and just didn't remember.

"One night my twin boys came in after dinner and asked if they could go down to the river....stay out an extra hour because it was their friend's birthday. It was getting dark, but I said o.k. I was looking out the window, doing the supper dishes when I had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. I thought about my boys and wanted to go out and look for them, but shrugged it off. "Aw Millie", I thought. "Don't be silly, they're fine.". But they weren't. A short time later, I heard sirens" she paused.

"It was my boys."

She put her head down and I put my hand on hers on the counter. What do you say to someone? "I'm so sorry Millie". There are no words.

Her two twelve year old sons - killed. The sirens kept coming she said. But they were already dead...just like their father a short time before them. Her husband and then her sons. Another drunk does that happen to one family? It was a woman who lived in their complex. She had to face her after that.

Millie's a tough little gal, but she teared up as she told me. So did I. And then she shifted gears, back into small talk and she left. But a piece of her stayed with me.

I'll NEVER feel sorry for myself again. Leaky pipes? Whatever. Place that's falling apart? It's nothin'. Some people have endured more pain than is survivable. Is that even a word? If not, it is now. For Millie.

"You're a strong woman Millie. Stronger than I'll ever be".

The glass is half full my friends. If Millie's is, ours is too.
I'm out there, just flitting around, trying to put the pieces of this life together.



Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

How very very terrible. How does someone survive something like that?
Millie must have deep wells of strength that most of us could never imagine ever having to plumb. Her story humbles me.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous allison said...

Thank-you for posting Millie's story, Deb. Really puts things into perspective.

Glad to hear from you as well. :)

2:57 PM  
Blogger Whitenoise said...

Makes you think, doesn't it...

7:16 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

That bird is just the type (a herring gull(?)) I would choose to be reincarnated as. If only reincarnation really did happen, which I don't believe!

As for neglecting friendships JOIN THE CLUB I've neglected everybody I know online and I'm sure most of them now hate me as a result. Ho-humm!!

6:57 AM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

Hey what is it re this buying 10,000 lottery tickets at a time... I even met someone once who suggested we splonk down £50 each as an "investment"... yeah right!!

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Kelly (KET) said...

Hey, Deb. :)
I had a similar revelation this week... some people endure such misery, and I'm griping about such petty, petty stuff (including leaky pipes, ironically). Perspective is a good thing. A humbling thing.

12:49 PM  

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