Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Chronicles of an Evening
The Chronicles of an Evening
On October 11, 1990 I killed my mother. It was an accident, but its details run through my mind like a horrible dream that never ends. These are the true details of that night. Some of them my sound redundant but I have kept them in the story for the purpose of showing what it is to suffer from a trauma that puts one into a deep shock and the affects it has on the mind.
My husband wanted me to return home earlier that evening, but my mother had needed someone to help her transport a bed from my grandmother’s house. So, I stayed to help her. It took over an hour to do everything that needed to be done. The three of us, my mother, my son David, and I went to my grandmother’s house to get a bed that she had owned since before I was born. Her sister in law had been borrowing the bed for a number of years, but she died in September. Now my grandmother was giving it to my mother.
It must have been some where around eight o’clock when we finished unloading the bed. Previously my sister Jane had offered me a dresser that was being stored in my mother’s garage, so my mother and I took the time to load up the dresser into my car. We placed the dresser in the trunk and the drawers in the back seat. Then we fastened the trunk down with some rope and bungee cords.
Afterwards, the three of us went into her house to set up the bed. It was a full size bed; however, my mother only had twin sheets, so she covered it with a pretty bedspread. As she lay down on the bed a large smile appeared on her face. She was so happy to have this bed. I‘d never seen my mother so happy over any material possession. But this bed, made her swell up with joy. [At the time, I didn’t really appreciate what she was feeling. Since that night I have often wondered why we never really love and appreciate our parents the way we should until it’s too late].
We worked our way into the living room, where David became the center of our focus. There was a little toy bank filled with pennies, it was the shape of a Dachshund. The doggy bank was almost half the height of my son, and was pretty heavy. David was fascinated with it. He would carry it back and forth to the coffee table from the place where he found it. The amusing thing about it all was that as he carried it to the table he would make grunting noises, but on the way back he didn’t make a sound. He performed this act over and over again.
We sat watching him as he worked with the bank. It was a unique feeling to sit with my mother and admire my son. I lived four hours from her, so she had only seen him a few times. They were practically strangers. When we did visit there were usually a lot of people around, but that night it was just the three of us. It was going on nine o’clock when our evening came to a close. My mother had to get up early and I had to get on the road and head back to Central New York. I dreaded the long four hour trip that lay ahead.
We walked out to the driveway and fastened my son into his carseat which was positioned in the front passenger’s seat. Then we stood there talking for awhile. She spoke about getting her G.E.D.; and how she was concerned about passing the test. She went on to tell me how she wanted to travel around the states to speak to women about the things she had gone through in her life; she wanted to be an encouragement to them. I thought about what she was saying. My mother wants to be a lady evangelist? Wow! I’ve never seen this side of her. I never imagined her talking in front of a group. I’ve always thought of her as an introverted person. As she spoke, I began to see her in a different light. She wasn’t anything like the person I thought she was.
After we finished talking we hugged. It was a wonderful hug. For the first time in my life I believed my mother loved me. I felt that our past was behind us, and that we were starting fresh. When I got to the driver’s side, I realized I couldn’t get into my door because of the embankment. I had gotten out of the passenger’s door earlier in the evening. But now David’s car seat was there. [This is before babies weren’t allowed to sit in the front.]
We started to discuss how I could get into my car. I had backed up into the driveway earlier so we could load up a dresser. My mother suggested that I try to open my driver’s door enough to be able to slip my arm in and roll down the window. Then I would be able to reach through the window and put the car in neutral. The two of us would roll the car away from the embankment, and then I would put the car in park. She would stand in front of the car to hold it back, while I steered.
I did everything she suggested. But when I put the car in neutral, it didn’t move. My mother realized that the emergency brake was on. So, I reached down and pulled the lever. As soon as I did, the car jumped forward. Instantly, we both knew something was wrong. She started to walk away. The car automatically rolled into the grooves. For some reason she stopped and turned around to look at me. We had eye contact for awhile until she disappeared.
The dome light was on in the car, I could see my son. I stayed with the car for ninety feet shifting frantically to get it to stop. But it wouldn’t stop. It seemed to pick up more speed. I could hear someone screaming in the background. [That person turned out to be me]. As I ran along the side of the car I prayed. I prayed all the way down the driveway.
“God stop the car.”
We crossed over Bolivar drive and started down the neighbor’s driveway. Suddenly the car stopped. I asked myself, why did it stop? Then I heard an “uh!” The sound came from the rear of the car, I turned around. My mother’s body was under the car. Her body had lodged between the wheel and the frame of the car. I started screaming. I thought to myself, I have to get her out of there. How can I do this? Should I start the car? No, I don’t think I should do that. Perhaps if I put the car in drive, I can push it forward, and get her out of there. So, I put the car in drive, and I tried to push it forward, but it wouldn’t budge. I felt so helpless. I didn’t know what to do.
In the house that went with the driveway, I saw a silhouette of someone sitting in a chair, they were watching TV. I started to yell at the window.
“Help me! Help me! Please, won’t somebody help me?”
The figure didn’t move. No one came to help. It seemed like a long time before there was anyone else on the road. When a car finally did come, it stopped and sat there, with no sign of movement in it. I began to scream at it.
“Help me! Help me! Someone please help me!”
But it just sat there. I couldn’t see anyone. I continued to yell at it. Finally, two people got out of the car and started to walk toward me. The man walked over to check on my mother, and the woman came to my side and tried to calm me.
“Go over and get your baby,” she said.
Before I went, I looked at my mother and noticed that her shirt was pulled back and I could see her bra. I thought to myself as I walked over to the other side of the car to get David, My mother is going to be so upset that we can see her bra. When I got to my son, I found him terrified and crying uncontrollably.
I took him out of his seat and carried him back around to where the two people were standing. I began to crouch down to talk to my mother. As I drew near to her, I began to speak to her.
“Mommy, are you okay?”
I noticed that her face was pale and lifeless. I saw that she was bleeding from her forehead and her mouth, and her eyes were rolled back. I saw a puddle of blood in front of her chest; blood was spraying out of it. The realization that she was dead struck terror through my soul, I start to scream.
“Oh my God, she’s dead! My mommy is dead!”
As the woman walked me away from the car, she began to tell me that my mother was alive, because she thought she saw her talking. There were a number of people standing around us at this point. A few had joined her as she ushered me into the house I had screamed at earlier. I questioned them on whether it would be okay to go into the house. One of the men told me that it would be. They told me that I needed to take care of my baby.
In the house I tried to console him but he still cried hysterically. I tried to breast feed him, it didn’t work. He was too shook up to stop crying. I started praying. I couldn’t stop thinking about what the woman had said to me. My mother is still alive? She is going to live through this? Oh my God, please don’t let her live. She’ll be a vegetable for the rest of her life; she wouldn’t want to live that way. Oh God, help my mother. I don’t know how to pray for her. Is it wrong for me to pray like this?
My son began to calm down and eventually he stopped his crying. Some people came in and told me to contact a family member and to tell them where I was. I responded that I didn’t know who to call. I didn’t have anyone’s number on me. They asked me about my husband, and could I call him? I worried because it was long distance. I looked at the numbers on the phone and I told myself. Remember you’re in another area code; you have to dial your area code. I tried to dial the number but I couldn’t seem to dial the right one.
The kitchen filled up with police officers. As they started asking me questions the room began to turn black. I told someone to take my baby because I thought I was going to pass out. Someone reached out and took him. Everything turned black and I fell to my knees. I came to after I hit the floor. A moment later I stood back up and they continued to talk to me. But the room began to turn black again. This happened to me at least three times before they had me stay on the floor.
After the last collapse, I woke up to a nice policeman sitting next to me. My baby wasn’t with me any more, he was gone. I started to question the officer about my mommy.
I asked him, “My mommy is dead, isn’t she?” As I caressed his face
he shook his head yes. We sat there for a while. This man was so friendly to me, but at some point he left me. I don’t know when.
Eventually, I had my baby back in my arms. I began to pace the room. I went out onto the porch several times. However, I thought they didn’t want me there, so I went back into the house. I had to take care of my baby, but I wanted to talk to my mother. I felt a great need to be with her.
Eventually, I made the decision to sit on the steps and watch the people. It was a wet autumn’s eve in the hills of Pennsylvania, on that dark and dreary night. I sat with my son in my arms as I watched the men work around my car. They hung a large white sheet over the rear tire.
At this point the affects of the shock started to disorient me. I became confused. As I sat there I noticed a bright white light piercing out of the darkness from the center of the road. A little further from it was an ambulance parked on the shoulder with its red lights flashing almost vulgarly onto the back drop. Thoughts and questions started running through my mind, I couldn’t control them.
I only have a few hours to go to get to my house. I need to go home. What am I doing here? This isn’t real, it’s only a dream. I’m going to wake up soon. Where is my mommy? I can’t see her. Who are these people? There’s so many of them. Where did they come from? I want someone to take me to my mother.
I started to become frantic. I couldn’t remember that we had been in an accident, and that my mother was dead. I found myself floating down the sidewalk. Out of nowhere a person or persons, took me by the arm, and lead me to an ambulance. They opened the door and helped me in. They had me lie down on a little cot with my son. I felt numb, and I didn’t know why I was in ambulance. I thought to myself, I should be with my mother. I felt someone touch me. It was my baby cuddling up against me. My eyes focused on him and I began to think.
He is so precious; look how he is rubbing my arm to make me feel better. Who says babies can’t love? What is this? But a simple act of love and thoughtfulness. This is not a basic response to a basic need. He knows I’m hurting, and he wants to make me feel better. And I do feel better. I was feeling so lonely. But David loves me in his own sweet way. Oh, David, I love you so much. Thank you caring.
Sometime later I found myself lying in a hospital bed. Two people I had known since I was twelve were standing beside me. I was in such deep shock so in order to keep me conscious they started singing praise songs and encouraged me to sing along. David was sitting on me, he was calm now. After awhile some Police officers came into my room to question me, while they were there I felt someone else enter the room. I looked over to see who it is. It was my pastor from the church in town. I looked at him and I said, “Pastor Bill, I killed my mommy.” He just looked at me and didn’t say a word.
When I look back on that evening, as I am doing now, I cry. I cry for me, for my mother, for my son and for all my brothers and sisters. I know that I only made it through that night and the many nights after, because of the help I received from God. When no one else understood what I was going through God let me feel his love and he comforted me. He still comforts me.
I sometimes feel that the dream has never ended, and that I have yet to wake up. I am confident of this one thing though. One day, when this nightmare finally ends, I will wake up in heaven and my mother will be standing there beside me to welcome in. Then Jesus will wipe my tears away, and I will be filled with a joy like I’ve never known. I look forward to it expectantly.