Friday, December 7, 2012
it has been 19 years since the accident.
november 26, 1993.
i was 13 years old when i walked out of the bathroom, met in the arms of my sister, Malina. she said they had died. both of them. i ran down the stairs, shaking. my skinny body fighting against all forms of comfort, head pounding no, no, no.
i cried. we all cried. but no one cried more than my sister wanida. for it was that day that her best friend died.
jenni was 16 and mylene was 24. the oldest sister and the youngest sister died in one fatal car accident. they were on their way home from visiting their middle sister, emily, on her honeymoon. emily was only married 6 days prior to the accident. can you imagine, can you even imagine. in the span of two weeks there was a wedding and two funerals in one family. an absolute nightmare.
19 years later we stood in my kitchen chopping chicken and mixing a cucumber salad and i asked if she was okay to talk about her sisters. she replied, "as long as you're okay if i cry." i listened, bouncing noelle on my hip, to emily recounting that day. she told me details i never knew. things that only God could have ordained. like the way Jenni spent her last night beside Emily, their bodies shared a bed. and even though it was her honeymoon, she slept side by side with her little sister for her last night on earth. or how the other car in the accident was a father to three girls, one girl whose name was emily. he survived the accident, but has never taken another step since that day. emily told me that when she woke up that morning, one week after her wedding day, she sat down and her husband told her that both sisters had passed away. they had only hugged outside the gas station just 8 hours earlier. emily and i both started to cry. she kept cutting and i kept swaying my little girl. she said she cried all the way from mammoth to san marcos. after 8 hours the tears were no more. her mom lost two children that night and for months her mom kept a banner hanging above their doors that said, "welcome home." she believed that the girls were on a trip and she was just waiting for them to come home. and when the girl's bodies were lowered into the ground her mom was held back from following her girls right there into the ground. and what pain could be greater than losing a child, but she lost two in one brief moment, gone. i'm sure she died that day, too.
it's been 19 years. almost another life time since Jenni and Mylene died. emily has had three kids since. kids that only know their aunts by pictures, names, and stories. when people die they are never forgotten, i just think sometimes we forget to talk about them, even 19 years later. but i still miss them. i wonder what they would be like, who they would have become. if they would have been there with us, chatting about recipes and the cost of sushi and homeschooling.
noelle was born november 26th, 2011. 18 years after the accident. noelle hope paschall. Hope is also Jaylene's middle name. Jaylene is emily's third child. a daughter bearing the name of both of emily's sister's.