Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The phone rang. The World Changed. By Mark David

My sister was playing with her barbies in her room. It was just about dinner time. Normally my father would be home just about then.
You always knew when my dad pulled into the driveway. We had a large garage, with an automatic remote opener. You could hear the garage make its way up the track.  It was very loud. My bedroom was just above the garage and Mickey and Velvet would come running into my room barking up a storm. Those dogs loved my dad.
As soon as the engine shut off, they rushed downstairs to greet him.
This night though my dad wouldn't be home for dinner. He had a busy restaurant and had been working late hours. Once baseball season started he would make time, but for now he was burning the candle at both ends.
I was in my room playing with my baseball cards and reading sports magazines.

Then it happened.

The phone rang. I assumed it was my dad calling my mother to tell her it was just going to be another late night.
"Oh,  god, No!" my mother cried as she crumbled to the ground.
She was completely hysterical. I had seen my mother like this many times before, but never on this level. It was like the world was over.
My sister and I rushed to the kitchen where the phone was. My mother slumped on the floor, the phone hanging down.
She was trying to speak, but she was crying so hard you couldn't understand anything. She was in complete hyperventilate mode. A few minutes passed and all she could say was:
"He's dead. He's gone. I can't believe he's gone"
My sister also began crying. I just stood there quiet, holding my mother. I was always the rock.
After a few more minutes, my mother, with my help, made her way to the couch.
"I can't believe it, my father is gone. He was so healthy. We just saw him last week".
It was the spring of 1975, and I was only 10. I had never known anyone who died to that point. My grandfather was the first one. And of course, it was a shock.
Just like that, my grandfather went out from the variety store that he owned and operated with my grandmother to go get something from his car. He never returned. When my grandmother went out to find him, she found him dead on the backseat. Some kind of stroke or heart attack. To this day I still don't know. And don't care.
We lived in Montreal, and my grandparents lived in Toronto. We saw them two or three times a year, and I never had the thought they wouldn't be around.
After that day, my grandmother and mother were never the same.
The phone rang. The world changed.
All down the streets and towns and countries of the world, people sat and ate their dinner or played with barbies and hockey cards. Their world's hadn't changed that day. Another day their phones would ring. Then their world would change.

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