|I woke up one morning
And my first thought was that the sun was bright
Now I know the sun is cruel
And will never shine as beautifully as before.
My sister was fooling around, like a normal four-year-old
And I thought, “This must be a regular Sunday,”
So I ate my cereal and drank my milk
Not knowing what would happen.
My mom called my name in hysterics
I rushed to her
Wondering what I did wrong
Wondering how much trouble I was in.
She patted the bed
And I didn’t sit down
Sensing that something was wrong
I wasn't in trouble, it was something more.
Her auburn eyes were filled with regret
And her voice cracked when she said
“Erin, your uncle died this morning
At six o’clock.”
I stared at her in disbelief
Like this was some a huge, cruel joke
My stomach dropped and my mind spun
And it wasn't possible for him to be gone.
She busied herself with the phone while I sat
Staring into the pillow with hatred
My life had suddenly twisted
Into a horrible moment that would last forever.
I cried, not knowing why or how
Thinking I would be sick if she told me
But suddenly it dawned on me
I knew why and how, and when and where.
Yesterday, that fateful Saturday
When my dad got off the phone
He said Uncle Brad would be all right
And that he was just in a car accident.
I thought back to the day in the car
Just a few months ago
When my parents would only tell me
That my uncle had gotten into trouble.
“What kind of trouble?” I asked repeatedly
Thinking at first that he must've stolen something
That was my only explanation
For why I wasn’t allowed at my cousin’s.
Now I’m filled with boiling hate
That my parents never told me
He was addicted to drugs and in very deep
That he suffered until he died.
He made that decision to drive while drunk
And took another’s life
He took away an innocent woman
From her family, her memories, her loves.
The doctors had said he would be all right
And that his broken leg would heal
But what they didn’t realize
Was that his brain was bleeding, and did so until he died.
I saw my aunt when we went to her house
And his two young girls, just seven and three
I wondered, “How could he do this?
Just leave them with nothing?”
I remembered those days in his garage
When he would teach me the guitar
And laugh his melodic laugh
Because I always dropped the pick.
Now those days are washed away
By the heavy rains that followed the end of his life
And I will never get those memories back
Because he chose to drink and drive.