The Day I Didn’t Turn Wrong.


It’s been 8 years.

It’s kind of hard to believe that much time has passed. At the same time, it feels like it was forever ago.

Funny how that happens.

I remember it pretty clearly. It had been a long month at work, making almost daily visits to Hospice since he was admitted. It had gotten to the point that I was just tired. Physically, mentally, but most of all, emotionally. Over the last week, we had gotten no less than 3 of ‘those’ phone calls. The one where they tell you, “He is turning, we don’t think he will make it through the night.” And, of course, we had gone. And of course, he was stronger than they suspected. But he still got worse.

He had been in that semi-conscious sleep for about 4 days. Everyone knew it was just a matter of time. I struggled with going there that day. I watched the clock click away toward 5, and as the seconds passed, I just wanted to go home. To turn off the world, to shut out the thoughts of him lying in that bed. To just try to be somewhat normal for a bit.

My emotions were a wreck. I had this sense of duty, this sense of family. I had to go, right? But, I really didn’t want too. Would my family look at me and judge me. Would I let them down? Would I let him down?

I wrestled inside myself for most of that afternoon, but finally, the time had come.

5 o’clock.

I took a deep breath, still unsure as to what my decision was going to be, but leaning more and more toward just going home. Why not? With all the time I had spent there, I deserved to just relax a bit, didn’t I?

I steeled myself with my decision. Walked to my truck and got in. Turned on the car, took a deep breath, looked in the mirror and just felt…

Nothing.

I wiped my eyes, took another deep breath and put my truck in reverse to leave the parking lot. That sense of family and duty came rushing back in, the thought of ‘Just go’ pervading my mind.

Ahh, there it was again. God talking to me trying to convince me to do something I just really didn’t want to. I finally recognized the voice I had been struggling against all day.

“But I just want to go home. Is that so wrong? To have sometime for me? Just a few minutes of not being there?” I argued. I was firm. I was adamant.

“Just go.” I was frustrated.

So, I did what no one ever should do in a moment of compromise with the guy who created everything. I said, “Fine. If I get to the end of the parking lot and I can turn left, I’ll go.”

This seemed to me to be a great idea. My office parking lot dumped out onto a five lane highway, and I normally turn right to go home. The traffic at 5 is pretty intense, backed up and fairly difficult to get through on a good day. I was happy with my… “Haha, beat that.” thought.

So, I backed out, approached the stop sign, looked both ways and…

Well, crap.

Not a car to be seen in either direction.

“Fine, I’ll go left.” I grumbled, only then realizing who I was trying to get the better of.

It was only a mile to the Hospice house, the entire way I just wanted to go home. So, I figured I would stay for a bit, maybe 30 minutes, then head home.

I pulled into the parking lot, got out, and slowly walked toward the home. The nurses greeted me as I signed in, and I walked in, looked at him, not really able to handle it all that well, I walked out to the porch and sat down.

I am sure other people were there, I just can’t remember. I was trapped in my own struggle of being the ‘Good Guy’ and doing the right thing and on the inside just screaming that I didn’t want to be here.

Other people showed up around 6 so I decided to stay a bit longer.

It wasn’t much longer after that.

Around 6:25 as I recall.

He took one final breath and slipped away.

I remember after he had gone, he still had on his necklace. Somehow it had fallen to me to take it off. So I reached down and with shaking hands and tear filled eyes, I unclasp the gold chain and said a quiet final goodbye to my younger brother.

pingback

(Yes, I recognize this is just the opposite of what the daily prompt was asking for… but.. I made it my own.)

8 thoughts on “The Day I Didn’t Turn Wrong.

    1. Thanks. Writing this was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. Screwed up so much, I unpublished it after I published it because I had to fix a lot of stuff. Yeah emotions. o.O

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