I can still see the moment in my head…..it was a Sunday. I was sitting at the desk in my office when the phone rang. It was my mom. I don’t remember her exact words, but she said something like “I have some bad news”. I thought she was going to tell me that something had come up and she wouldn’t be able to follow through with her plans to take me and my kids to the Nutcracker for Christmas. I thought, “well that would suck, but it’s not the end of the world.” But when she said ”Aimee was killed today”, I didn’t believe her. I thought, “what a horrible thing to say….that’s not funny”. But I knew she wasn’t joking; she would never joke about something like that. I don’t remember much after that. I know she told me it was an accident on a scuba boat, something about the boat flipping. I screamed, and screamed, I walked upstairs and vomited several times. I just kept thinking about my brother’s Facebook post that morning. It still sticks in my head: “Taking Rowan to the Aquatic center today. Aimee is going scuba diving, crossing it off of her ‘bucket list’. I’m happy for her, but I will be happier when she comes back safely.” Those words haunt me to this day.
|Shannon picked this photo. It's Aimee, Rowan|
and I at her house, Christmas 2009
~I had a meeting for work the next morning at 7. My boss told me I looked like hell and to go home. On my way back home, I got stuck in a snow storm going over the mountains, and they closed the mountain pass. I got to sit there, alone with my thoughts again. It was literally like spending 2 days in hell. I kept thinking that I must have done something to make God angry and this was his way of punishing me. Probably two of the most painful days I have experienced in my 38 years of life.
~When I got home I collapsed from exhaustion, and I had a dream. Aimee was standing next to my bed saying “It was just a bad dream….I’m not dead….It was just a bad dream.” I woke up screaming and couldn’t go back to sleep.
~On a more recent visit we were watching “Tangled” and the main characters were trapped in a cave filling with water. They were going to drown, and I couldn’t handle it. All I could see was Aimee and what could have been her fear while she was drowning. I had to go outside. I sat in my car and cried. I couldn’t stop. When I did come back in, I said I was tired and went to bed in the guest room. I laid there staring at the closet where Aimee’s coat still hung. I cried more.
Every time Rowan talks about her mommy, my eyes swell with tears. My heart is not breaking for Aimee. She is in heaven. My heart is breaking for my brother who must live without his wife, for Rowan who must live without her mother, and for Donna who must live without her daughter.