Thursday, April 7

30 Days - April 7 ~ reminds me of a certain event

For the 30 days of music:

Day 7 ~ which reminds me of a certain event:

"That's What Friends Are For"

That's What Friends Are For

Ask almost anyone over 30 if they remember January 28, 1986 - I would bet they remember exactly where they were when they heard, and I know I do. However, I have an extra reason for remembering that date:
Let me start by saying that I come from a large extended family - Dad has 5 siblings, Mom has 10... and almost every single one has at least one child (most have 2 or more). Growing up we all lived pretty near each other; in less than an hour, we could be at any relative's house and have plenty of time to visit and play. On Mom's side, my closest cousin was Chrissy. She was only about 10 months older than me, and every time we were together for anything, we were joined at the hip! There is one memory I have that is absolutely clear: for Christmas, most of Mom's siblings got together for a big party - rented a place (it was a Catholic school for Christmas 1985), everyone brought food and drinks, gift exchange for the kids, and games and prizes. I know at one point, Chrissy and I were wandering around in a hallway checking for unlocked doors! I know, I know... but we were kids, 7-8 years old, and we had managed to find ourselves b.o.r.e.d. with everything else. You know how kids are :)
I only remember opening one door, and I think it was a broom closet - even more boring! Soon enough, Chrissy and I were playing underneath a table in the cafeteria. There was a tablecloth on it, so we were kind of hidden; we either had dolls or were playing house, but definitely trying to just be by ourselves - we both had annoying little brothers!! I remember Chrissy's dad (one of Mom's brothers) acting out something for the game of Charades the adults were playing... I think it was a movie title, because he did the 'filming' pantomime as his first clue. Chrissy & I must have been walking to get food or drinks, because as we walked past them, another uncle looked out the window and said "Hey kids, I see Santa's sleigh! Come look!" - and somewhere, someone off in the distance, was jingling bells. Of course, as we all neared the window, Mom's twin brother (Uncle Co-Cheese {long story}) was saying 'oh no, he's getting farther away....', so we missed seeing Santa. And, so ends my memory of that party.

Sadly, that would be the last time I'd ever see Chrissy alive. The night of January 27, 1986: Chrissy, her two younger brothers, and their mom Wanda, were coming back from visiting Wanda's grandparents. No one knows for sure, but some think Wanda may have had narcolepsy because she had fallen asleep at random times previously; she also never liked driving at night, but this night she had to get the kids back home as they had school in the morning.
Somewhere along the interstate surrounding our big city (I still don't want to give away location specific info here - I know exactly where it happened), Wanda must have fallen asleep. The car ran into the back of a tractor trailer and kept going. Chrissy was asleep in the front seat - at the time, there was no state law about seat belts - and the boys were asleep in the back seat. Wanda was pronounced at the scene; the kids were all taken to the Children's Hospital about 30 miles away, but Chrissy had already suffered too much internal bleeding and other physical injury, and she never regained conciousness. The boys spent a lot of time in the hospital, and both have families of their own today.

So, the song above must have been pretty popular at the time, because I remember it playing at the funeral home. Well, maybe it was on the way to or from, but I know I heard it the day of the visitation. I also have some pretty vivid memories from that, but it was *not* closed casket and I'm not going talk about them. I much prefer the Christmas memory.


No comments: