The last years of my life had been tough. At 34 years old, I was the kind of person that could say I’d once had it all, only to have it taken away abruptly. Several times. I had a wonderful husband and 101 children that were my pride and joy, three of which still lived with me.
I had someone to kiss me goodnight, who loved me unconditionally and whom I felt the same way about. I had it all. Until… I didn't anymore.
That day was the worst day of my life. I’d had many miserable days before, but that day was even worse. It didn't start out that way, though. Everything was normal. I got up, made breakfast, kissed my triplets goodbye before they left for their kindergarten class. What wasn't normal was the truck driver they encountered who was texting while driving. Apparently my husband had been busy making the kids calm down—those three kids could be a pain in the head sometimes—and he didn't see the truck coming. Neither did the driver, who was too busy doing something that ruined my life—and my family’s—forever.
The air was cold and the sky was dark. A hurricane was on its way, yet I wasn't buying supplies to get us by during the agitated storm that had destroyed so many places in various surrounding states. No, instead I was at the cemetery. My children and husband had been gone for exactly three years, but it felt like they were laughing during breakfast just yesterday.
This was the first time since their memorial that I didn't come to visit them alone. I’d come with my new best friend, who had become my only source of comfort. He didn't know how much his arms around me meant to me while I mourned my family. He was quiet. He did not tell me meaningless things like, “Everything’s going to be alright,” or, “They’re in a better place now.” He knew better than that. He knew that would only open my wounds even further.
Daniel’s warmth caused me to stay glued to him. I was surprised when he didn’t pull away. My tears stained his shirt and I let out a shaky laugh at the sight. “I’m sorry about your shirt,” I told him.
He gave me a kind smile. “It’s fine. I don’t mind.”
He ran his hand down my bare arm. I shivered at his touch. I buried my face into his chest and whispered, “Thank you for everything. You've been such a great friend to me.” When I looked at his face, he was smiling sadly. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he whispered. But I could tell something was, indeed, wrong. I let the topic drop, though.
That night I dreamed about my family. Not only my dead one, but my living one too. All of my kids, the few grandchildren I knew, all the love interest I've had, and even the man who forced me to marry him before he killed himself during the wedding.
It was an odd dream. They would whisper things that didn't make sense in my mind. Some would say, “Wake up,” while others would say, “Let go.” What were they walking about, I might never know. I just knew it sounded important.
I woke with a start, just as my first living baby told me to move on. Then I understood. They were all talking about my family. I gripped the soft sheets of my bed tightly as I sobbed into my pillow. Why me? I didn't wish for this to happen to anyone else, but why did my family have to go? Why did they had to die instead of me? I would have preferred being the one who died. I would, I would, I would. Whatever I did to deserve this, it didn't involve them. They were innocent of everything.
But I wasn't.
I didn't know what I was guilty of. I just knew I must have done something to upset God. Something that got me in the situation I was now.