I think I may be ovulating. Or maybe the fact that I've cried twice in the short span of a few days is purely circumstantial. I don't know. But I do know how much I hate that feeling, where you realize that you have little to no control about the manner in which your emotions are about to manifest themselves. You don't want to talk because you know if you talk you'll completely lose the tiny bit of control that its taking every bit of your concentration to maintain. I just hate it.
Last night, Leah, Harper, and I made a run to Wal-Mart for some light bulbs and cooking supplies. As we were pulling out of the parking lot onto the main road we noticed an SUV stalled in the middle of the road with an old man laying on the ground. At first, it just looked like he was trying to reach under the car for something but as we pulled up next to it we realized that the SUV had run over this man. Leah called 911 and we pulled over to see if we could help. The family that hit him were already on the phone with 911 and apparently he had walked in front of them when they had a green light and they just didn't see him. He was wearing dark clothes and the sun had long ago set. The cops arrived shortly and when they did we left, but standing there looking down on the elderly gentleman who had just walked to Wal-Mart for some chocolate covered cherries, I was reminded more than I wanted to be of my grandfather.
My grandfather was killed by a drunk (among other things) driver when I was about 11 or 12. He was out riding his bike on the country roads of Harelton, TX in the late afternoon when he was hit. The man hit him and ran. Yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about how lonely and scared he must've been, laying on the concrete, probably knowing that he was dying, wondering if his family would even find him.
I remember my dad getting the call that night and jumping in the car and praying that he was OK. On the drive from White Oak to Harelton (about 40 minutes) we didn't know if he was alive or not, just that he'd been hit by a car. When we arrived at the rural road that they lived on there were cars backed up for what seemed like miles. One of the men helping to direct the traffic knew my father and dad stopped to ask him if my grandfather was alive. I can still remember the man's face when he said "no" and the way my mom reached out and touched my dad when he said it.
Their house was full when we arrived; my PawPaw was a popular man in his community. My grandmother sat in his favorite chair surrounded by women and wailing into her hands. I remember being a little confused because I never got the impression that my grandmother and grandfather liked each other very much, but I was young and now I get it. I wandered into his room, which was empty, and for some reason it was then that the reality of the situation hit me. Looking in his closet, I thought, "No one is ever going to wear these clothes again," and I don't know why but that was what made it real.
My mother's parents arrived shortly after and the only thing I remember about them that night is when my Granddad, in an attempt to comfort me, told me that "the second your Pawpaw hit that windshield, he was in heaven." I knew that I was supposed to believe that, but now that it actually applied I remember feeling like it sounded too convenient somehow. I don't remember exactly what I thought but I remember it made me uncomfortable. Its possible that that was the first time I wondered if Heaven was just a way to feel better about death. But maybe there are things that we're not meant to find shelter from, things for which we can not and should not be comforted. I don't know.
Last night, I held Harper when we got home with a deep feeling of sadness because she will never get to meet him. He was a good man and I was an awful grandson. I'm sure Harper would've treated him better than I did, and he would've really loved to meet her. He would've loved to meet Leah too, for that matter, and I like to think he'd of gotten a kick out of seeing what Seth and I grew up to be.
I don't think the car hit the man all that hard last night, by the looks of things. I hope he's OK and at home enjoying his chocolate covered cherries by now.