There are certain days that one remembers always. People remember anniversaries of great events, horrendous events, and glorious events. Examples are endless: the wedding day, the assassination of JFK, or just about anything where the images, sounds, and smells are forever ingrained in our computer-like brain.
In fact, someone can ask you, “What were you doing when you heard the news about the assassination of John F. Kennedy?” Most of us who were cognizant at the time can call up that moment with clarity and emotion. For me, I was sitting in my 7th grade classroom, when the principal walked in and told us. The room was cold and silent. Then a boy turned in his chair, and it squeaked. Another boy laughed. We looked at each other, and then looked down quickly. I didn’t know what to do with my hands, or where I should look. Yes, a frozen photograph with sensory sound.
|Robert Peck (in glasses)|
It was my parents. I immediately sat down, and felt a chill creep over me from my head down to my toes. I started to shiver. “Yes?” I answered.
“Robert is gone,” my father’s voice sounded tired, stretched tight.
“This afternoon, two hours ago,” my mother filled in from another phone. “It happened quickly.” Mom’s voice was flat and without any light.
|Robert & Cheryl, 1970|
|Uncle Robert with my Mary, 1985|
This is being posted on Memorial Day weekend, a time for families to remember departed loved ones, and to honor deceased veterans. I needed to write this and breathe it out onto paper. I think of my brother Robert every single day, and I miss him dearly.
So, today, I write this in Robert’s memory, for I know what I was doing when the phone call came.
|Robert at Mom's kitchen table on the farm|
|Dad, Robert, brother Don, and my husband John|