Sorry for your loss
“I need to go, could you please stay with Noah? I don’t know how long I’ll be there” I say absent mindedly as I pick up my handbag.
“Sure. I’ll be there as soon as I can get my mother to come baby sit him” Rowan responds but it is drowned by the ringing in my ears.
Nothing much registers as I say goodbye to my son and leave. I get inside my car and begin to drive to the hospital. My mind completely lost in memory.
Growing up, you could say that I was emotional neglected. I was the child that none of my parents cared that much about. Father’s favorite was my older sister, Emma. He used to call her his baby girl. His princess. Mother’s favorite was my older brother Travis. He was her handsome boy. I was no one favorite. I was just Ava.
I always felt unwanted. Unwelcomed. Not only with my parents but also with my siblings. No matter what I tried to do, good grades, sports, school clubs. I always remained in the sidelines. I always felt like a stranger looking in. Never part of the big happy family.
After what happened nine years ago, the little relationship I had with my family became none existence. Travis rarely talked to me and he and father would even go to great lengths to downright snub me. Mother wasn’t much different. She only talked to me or called when she had something important to tell me. With my sister that was a completely different case. We haven’t seen or talked to each other in nine years. The last words she told me was that I was dead to her. That she no longer had a sister.
Now here I am. Driving to the hospital because father has been shot and all I feel is numb. Despite everything that has happened. Shouldn’t I be feeling something more? Maybe sadness?
What are you supposed to feel when you’re told that the father who shunned you all your life is lying in bed with a bullet wound? How am I supposed to react? And is it weird that I feel nothing?
The whole drive to the hospital is reflective. As I think of my childhood and even part of my adulthood. The pain and hurt is still there. I don’t think the pain of rejection from my own family will ever go away.
That’s who I am. A rejected woman. First by my family, then by my husband and in laws. The only one who accepts me and loves me just the way I am is Noah.
It doesn’t take long to get to the hospital. We had one main big hospital in this town and I just knew that’s where my father was.
Parking my car, I get out. The cool evening air ruffles my hair. I take a deep breath and square my shoulder before entering the building.
“I’m looking for James Sharp, I believe he was brought in for a gunshot wound” I tell the receptionist once I get to the front desk.
“Any relation?” she asks.
“He’s my father”
She nods her head. “Give me a minute.” She pauses while she types on her computer. “Right, he is in the ER, getting prepped for surgery. Just go straight ahead, at the end you’ll see the emergency door. You’ll find your family there”
I turn around and follow her instruction. My heart beating with every step I take.
‘He’s going to be okay. He’ll recover soon and go back to his old self’ I whisper to myself.
Despite our differences I wanted him to be well. He and I may not have a relationship but he’s loving towards Noah and that’s all I can ever ask for.
I push the door and enter. I immediately spot mother and Travis on the waiting chair. I school my features and approach them.
“Mother, Travis” I say as a way of greeting.
They both look up at me. Mother’s eyes are bloodshot from crying and her blue sundress is covered in blood. Travis’ eyes are dry but you can still see how much this is affecting him. He was trying to keep it together for mother’s sake.
I take a sit next to her. “What happened and how is he doing?”
The question brings on about of fresh tears.
“He was shot twice on his way back from the store, right outside our house. I called the ambulance immediately and we brought him here. The doctors say one of the bullets pierced his lungs and the other his kidney. They’re preparing him for surgery” her voice catches at the end.
I nod my head. I want to comfort her. To hug her, but I don’t think my touch would be welcomed.
“Don’t worry. Father is the strongest man I know. He’ll be okay” I try to reassure her.
She doesn’t say anything. Just continues to cry.
Minutes later they bring father out. He’s dressed in a hospital gown and is lying on a hospital bed. Travis and mother immediately stand up and rush to his side.
I stay seated. I’m pretty sure my face is the last thing he wants to see. He would rather it be Emma’s.
I watch as mother cries over him. He weakly wipes her tears but they keep falling. He tells Travis something and Travis nods. His face etched in determination. Before they take him away, I see him hand over what looks like a paper to mother. This brings fresh tears running down her face.
She kisses him and they wheel him away. Mother and Travis come back and take their seats. We don’t talk as we begin the long wait.
I stand up, I pace, I sit back down. I get everyone coffee. As each minute passes, I grow more anxious and so do the rest. Two and half hour later, the doctor comes to the waiting.
From the somber look on his face, I just know that father didn’t make it. Mother senses the same thing because she starts hiccupping.
“He went into cardiac arrest, we tried everything we could, but we weren’t able to save him. I’m sorry for your loss” he says.
The sound that tears out of mother’s lips is animalistic. Full of pain and sorrow. Travis catches her before she falls and they both sink to the floor. Both crying at the loss.
Father was dead and I knew that meant that Emma would have to come back