Monday, May 08, 2017

The Phone Call

May 8, 2003, started out like any other spring day. I was loving my new life with my new husband of 1 year. It was a Thursday and he had just come home from work - he worked at Sony Play Station and I was a nanny for a wealthy Silicon Valley family. Earlier in the day, we had received a phone call from his father, who had just remarried and they were on their way up from Southern California so we could meet his new bride. They were planning to work their way up to visit family in Seattle and then on to Wisconsin, where Arvilla was from. We got a kick out of the fact, that my husband's father met his bride online. He was 77 years old.

Around 5 pm, the newlyweds came and we visited. We decided to go out for Mexican, so my husband took them in his car and I was picking up my son Foodie, and we would meet them all at the restaurant.  My son was in the passenger seat when my cell phone rang. It was 6:15 pm. We were in bumper to bumper traffic - I answered the phone and it was an LA police officer.

The nice officer did his best to tell me, but I knew...mothers know. My son died unexpectedly from an undiagnosed heart defect. Michael was 25.

To this day, when I go back to my old hometown, I can remember the exact place I was on the freeway when I received that phone call. And I think of that phone call, every time.

Navy was a senior in HS. It was hard telling him. He had joined the Navy a month prior and Michael was proud of him. He loved his brother.

For 5 hours, as we drove down I-5 to Long Beach, I screamed and I cried.  All I could say,

"WHY Michael?"

"Nooooooooooo this can't be"

"How will I live with this?"

"I don't want to live"


14 years later I am no longer crying and screaming out in agony. I could...if I allowed myself to. To this day, I stay away from any form sentimentality. Movies, books, photos - anything that touches my heart can trigger me. So I have become quite stoic. Sometimes, it seems like I am cold and uncaring. No, I am protecting myself and my emotions.

I was a real whack, for about 9 years. Each year, lessened until one day, I came out of it. I was sick of grieving. I was sick of crying. I just made the decision I didn't want to live that way and I wanted to live and enjoy life with my family.

Life hasn't been the same. I am not the same.

and it all started with that phone call.


  1. As a mother, my heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing this. Our family recently lost a loved one and it has brought up memories from places in my mind I never knew existed. At first, I didn't want to think that to happen ... too painful ... and then I decided to embrace it. Hugs to you!

  2. I can not even imagine.

  3. Life could never be the same. I am convinced there is no harder loss than a child, no matter what age they are. Yet, I am so thankful you found a way to be part of life again, for you and for those who love you.

  4. I'm sorry that you suffered this terrible loss. You're very brave.


  5. I am so sorry. I can't imagine losing a child. I am so sorry you had to experience this and continue to experience this 14 years later. Every parent's nightmare. I personally hate the phone. It is rarely a deliverer of good news.


  6. I am glad you found your way back to the living. Some folks wear the 'pity me' shirt for the rest of their life not realizing the affect on everyone else around them.

  7. I am sorry you lost a child. Years ago my daughter had non-stop complex partial seizures and she almost died. But, she didn't. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I know how lucky I am. Losing a child... It's crap.

  8. Oh my! I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child like that! And to be notified while you were stuck in traffic. I am so very sorry! Sending you a big hug!!

  9. I am so very sorry you lost your son, Debby. I'm sending you comforting thoughts, and thinking of you today.



Comments are good - I admit, sometimes I don't respond back, in time for a dialog. I bad! I will TRY and do better. Thanks for understanding.

Popular Posts