This is the phone call that changed everything.
|Beep Beep Beep Beep her phone continued its alarm. Rising groggily out of bed she staggered a few feet to where it lay, unplugged it from the charge chord, with it in hand sat back on her bed. A familiar ring tone pierced the silence. Taking a deep breath and releasing it she answered.
"Hey, Beautiful." His cheerful voice echoed in her ears.
"Hey, Handsome." She smiled in response but not really feeling it.
"Are you up and around?"
"Eh, a little."
"Okay, just checking in." pause. "What'cha gonna do today?"
"Not much, laundry, dishes, the usual."
"Sounds like an uneventful day."
"That's the plan. I really don't feel like going anywhere." They conversed a bit more and ended with...
"I'm going to bed. I'll talk to you later. I love you."
"Sleep well, I love you too Hon. Bye."
The rest of the day went on without incident, the usual push and pulls of the kids wanting breakfast, getting their chores done and then lunch. All of a sudden, she felt something in her life snap. Everything stopped, she couldn't breathe yet knew there was nothing physically wrong with her. Not knowing what it was or what was going on, the feeling passed as she continued on with her afternoon. Around 2 o'clock her cell phone rang. Knowing whose ring tone it was she smiled as she picked it up and answered.
"Hello. Is this Kady Long?" The unfamiliar voice on the other end questioned.
"Yes," Frowning she swallowed hard, and wondering what was going on.
"This is Highway Patrol Officer, Collin Michaels. I’m regretfully calling to inform you that your husband James has passed away." Silence. Slowly she lowered herself to the chair next to her, not completely sure if this was a nightmare or a sick joke from a deranged man. Finally, she came to some of her senses.
"Are you serious? How did this happen? I -I just talked to him this morning." All these thoughts just seemed to flow from her simultaneously.
"Ma'am, I am very serious. We got the call from a manager at Fridge Foods saying he hadn't answered any of their phone calls, nor checked in with them when he was supposed to. They called us and had us come to check on James. I am sorry."
"How did this happen?"
"There doesn't seem to be any foul play with the truck, our preliminary findings, he went to sleep and just didn't wake up. Are you going to be okay? Is there someone there who can help you through this?"
Her mind was blank, "Yea, I have someone I can call." What am I going to tell my mother?
"Okay, I will let you get to that. Again, I am sorry for your loss. Will you be the primary contact for James?"
"Yes," only a whisper escaped. What about the kids? How am I going to tell them?
"Thank you, Ma'am. Good-bye."
"Bye," She hung up the phone and went to place it on the table next to her. It fell to the floor. Leaning over to pick it up, her body became heavy as realization sunk in, she slid to the floor. The tears began from nowhere, her heart was breaking for the life she would miss with this man who had become her best friend. She couldn’t breathe as her world came to a screeching halt. James is dead. The thought brought more tears she didn’t know she had. Sobs from somewhere deep inside her began to surface. Her nightmare had come true. What was she going to do without him? This was going to devastate the kids. She sobbed for the loss of her husband, her children's father and the loneliness she knew was to come.
After what seemed like hours she calmed down enough to think. Do Tommy and Frank know? She figured that Tommy would probably know, or at least soon enough because he worked for the same company James did. She picked up her phone and called Tommy first.
“Tommy, it’s Kady. Do you know anything about James?”
“We just heard. Kady, I’m so sorry.” The remorse in his voice made her choke up a bit.
“Thank you.” She quietly responded. “I want you to drive his truck back to the yard. You are the only person I trust not to steal me blind. Let me know when you get it there and I'll come to clean it out.”
“I don’t know if I can but I’ll try, I’ll let you know what the bosses are going to do.”
“Thank you, Tommy.”
“Hey, I hate to say this but, I gotta go, are you going to be okay?”
“Huh, yeah, I’ll be fine. I got some other phone calls to make anyway. Talk to you later. Bye.”
“Bye.” They hung up. Her eyes began to burn as sadness began to build up in her chest again. She took a deep breath and dialed another number.
“Hey Kady, what’s going on?” His voice was upbeat. It was heartbreaking to have to let him know that his best friend had passed away.
“Frank,” she took a deep shaky breath, releasing it as she spoke. “James is dead. He went to sleep and didn’t wake up. I just got the call and Fridge Foods knows too.” Tears escaped from her eyes as she let her friend know what was going on.
Phone call after phone call, she steadied herself letting friends and family know they had lost someone special. Whether he was their son, brother, nephew or friend, the hardest people to tell were coming home from school that afternoon.
She hadn’t told her mother yet but had asked her to stay with her for a bit when she dropped the kids off.
Kady steeled her emotions ready for the happy kids to come bounding through the door to tell her about their day. As each walked through the front door of their little house, her thoughts ran towards the fact that she had bad news for them. She had to tell them. Now.
“Guys,” Inhaling deeply, thinking clearly. “I have some bad news.” She watched their faces change with the knowledge of bad news. She swallowed hard as she watched their eyes change with hers. She had to do it, she had to break their hearts, possibly forever. This little group would never be the same again. “Your dad passed away today. James is dead.” She broke down in tears again as her daughters realized the seriousness of the information.
The tears began rolling down everyone’s faces as they all began sobbing at the heartbreak and loss they all felt. Kady pulled both of her children into a hug holding them as long as they needed.