One day I witnessed something that I don’t believe a parent wants to see but makes you proud that you have raised your children. This was the day after Mike was killed and the house was very quiet compared to the day before. I had woken up very early in the morning right before the sun was rising; to be honest I am not sure I even slept. No one else was awake in the house so I went outside and sat on my patio crying uncontrollably, saying over and over in my head that I could not believe he was dead. My heart began to sink deep in my chest just as it had done the day before. When the sun hit the horizon it hit my face and I felt its warmth. This brought more reality and anguish that I would need to survive another day without my husband. I was not sure how I was going to be able to face anyone or our family as they arrived. I went back up to my bedroom which would give me some comfort. Lying in our bed with the smell of Mike on the pillow somehow comforted me. I laid there for some time before capturing all the strength I needed for the day. I got dressed and looked into the mirror. When I looked at myself I saw a woman with eyes glazed red from the thousands of tears that had fallen. I began to peer deeper into my eyes and saw emptiness. I didn’t recognize those eyes as my own, but they were.
I began walking down the stairs only hearing the whispers of my children in the sitting room. I could not hear what they were talking about until I reached the bottom of the staircase and that is when I saw what they had in their hands. They were playing with a border patrol truck. The very same truck that Mike had given to them when he was in the patrol and an almost exact replica of what Mike was driving the day he was killed. Fear shot through my body and I was not sure if I should run, but I couldn’t. My body was stiff and my legs unable to move. I was gasping for air as I heard Quincy explaining to Rhyan what has happened to their dad. Quincy began, “Dad was driving down the road and then the lady hit him. When she hit him his truck rolled over like this. This is how dad died.” Rhyan asked, “Why did she hit him?” Quincy replied,” Because she drank too many beers.” I had not realized that Quincy knew these details, but kids do hear everything. What I was watching at that moment was a big brother sharing something with his little brother that their mother was not strong enough to explain at that moment.