Just like any other day, I got off the bus at the corner of Brookside Drive and Blanchard Avenue. The other two kids who exited the bus started walking in the opposite direction. My bus driver signaled for me to cross the street. She waved goodbye, so I turned and began walking home. When I reached my house I opened the front door and walked in, eager to tell my mom about the upcoming talent show.
I saw my father asleep in the recliner, and proceeded quietly to the kitchen. My mom was on the phone, and something was obviously wrong. She rushed back into the living room and over to my dad, a look of panic on her face. “I can’t lift him up! He’s a dead weight!” She paused for a minute, listening to what the person on the phone was saying. “He’s foaming at the mouth.” Another pause. “I don’t know, I can’t tell if he’s breathing.” I looked over to my father, laying back in the recliner. His face was pale, his hand in a box of cheese-it’s, and as my mother had just said…he was foaming at the mouth. Beside him on the table was an empty bottle of prescription pills. I didn’t put it together until long after that he’d tried to take his own life.
Soon, maybe a minute later, my mom hung up the phone. My little brother came up to me. “What’s wrong with dad?” I didn’t know what to say, because truthfully I did not know exactly what the problem was. I finally replied with, “He passed out or something.” Once my mom noticed we were in the room, she asked us to go outside and wait for the ambulance. I assume she didn’t want us just standing there staring at our unconscious father. I grabbed Blake’s hand and we went out to the front porch.
A flood of thoughts washed through my head. Was he dead? What happened to him? How long had he been laying there? Why was he foaming at the mouth? I heard the ambulance before I saw it, the loud sirens in the distance. Soon I could see the flashing red lights at the end of the street. The ambulance arrived and the EMT’s ran into our house, carrying a stretcher. We stayed out on the porch.
I heard a familiar sound, the squealing of the bus tires. It was my school bus. Shelly, the bus driver, came to a stop in front of my house. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” I told her we were okay, and that my dad had to go to the hospital. That answer didn’t seem to satisfy her, but she left anyway as she had to take the rest of the kids home. Shortly after my bus pulled away, the EMT’s brought my dad out on the stretcher and loaded him into the ambulance. My mom proceeded to get Blake and me into our blue van and followed the ambulance to the emergency room.
As I was going through what had become my daily life, I received a call from a restricted number. I assumed it was my mom, I hadn’t spoken to her in months, and I didn’t really want to. I answered it anyway… maybe out of sympathy.
“Hello?” I answered.
“Autumn?” she replied.
“Yeah mom. It’s me.”
She starting telling me about what she had been up to since she left Ohio, since she left us. She and her alcoholic, controlling, abusive, boyfriend had travelled to Las Vegas and were living on the streets, occasionally staying in run down, dirty, hotels.
Honestly, I didn’t feel sorry for her. She had brought everything upon herself. Deep down I knew that alcoholism was a disease, but I couldn’t let her blame all of her life problems on it. I didn’t even know if she accepted the fact that she was an alcoholic. She sold her blue van, no doubt for money to spend on alcohol. I wondered if she was ever coming back.
“We’re going to get greyhound tickets and come back. Aunt Sabrina is going to send me money through Western Union so we can.”
“She’s not paying for Jim’s ticket is she?” I knew the answer. Nobody in our family liked Jim, especially not my Aunt Sabrina.
“No… he has to get the money for his himself”
I heard her start to cry. I wasn’t really sure what to say. I didn’t have anything nice to say, so I kept my mouth shut.
“I might as well just jump.” She said.
“What? Mom, what are you talking about?”
“We’re at a hotel, on the second floor. He’s been yelling at me and telling me not to go home.”
“Well you know we all want you to come back mom, don’t listen to him!”
“If I come back, I’m going to have to go to jail. For a long time.”
“It’s better to face the consequences so you can start over, than to hide your whole life”
There was a long pause, then I heard her take a deep breath. She went on to tell me that she had nothing to live for, and how she thinks everyone back home will hate her now. I argued, telling her that she could come back and have a fresh start after she served her sentence. I told her that everyone loves her and we’re all worried about her. I guess she didn’t believe me.
“I love you, daughter.” She struggled to say this through her sobbing.
“I love you too mom…”
She hung up the phone. I wanted to call her back and make sure she didn’t do anything stupid, but she had called me from a restricted number so I couldn’t. I hoped she wasn’t going to jump.
Neither of their attempts were successful. My mother is still alive today. Unfortunately my father has since passed away due to lung cancer.
These are my memories of how each day happened.