We were doing school.
Gran had come up from south of the city to visit.
Mommy was at a baby shower.
Daddy was at work.
Uncle Kurt was on a business trip in Colorado.
The first call came around mid-morning. It was Aunt Kari asking us to pray. Uncle Kurt was in an ambulance headed to the hospital. We were all on the couch when the second call came, not 15 minutes later…they were unable to revive him.
Then the scrambling began. Gran called Poppy and her sisters. I tried calling Mommy but she didn't answer and I might have left some incoherent messages. Daddy answered at the office. “Uncle Kurt is dead,” I bluntly told him. Probably not the best way to break the news but that was the reality I was trying to grasp. “Oh my God, Oh my God,” was all he could say. It was the only time I have heard Daddy speak those words; they were an honest cry of desperation. Somehow, Gran got us all out the door with shoes on (me toting a math book, thinking I would get some work done) and drove to the Oakley’s house 15 minutes away.
Really all we did was sit there in shock. We cried, we ranted, we tried to process it all. Daddy met us there and started making phone calls. By mid-afternoon people started showing up. Some brought food, all were sympathetic. Later in the day Daddy took us and our 5 cousins back to our house. He sat us down and basically said we could do whatever we wanted the rest of the day and to not worry about finishing school or being places (thankfully I didn’t have ballet that day). I don't remember what it was like to go to sleep that night.
Eight years ago today marked the beginning of a rough year for the Diaddigo/Oakley family. In March Poppy was diagnosed with cancer. By the following November, he was gone too.
Looking back, I see God’s hand all over this story. He has proven himself faithful time and time again. Though I would love to have Uncle Kurt and Poppy back here on this Earth, I don’t regret the lessons learned as a result of their deaths. Sure, there are still scars; parts of us are still healing; some memories and thoughts still trigger random crying spells. It's still painful.
But He is faithful.
He is real.
He is our Comforter.
He will carry us when we cannot go on.
He has overcome.