When you start to bend your mind around something that is hard to think about, something bad that will inevitably happen but not yet–sometimes life throws you a curveball. This is going to be a long entry before you even know what the curveball is, so be patient.

As you might already know, my dad had another massive stroke on Monday June 13. He’s been in the hospital since then. His recovery has been iffy; when he had the angioplasty the other day, he had a series of minor strokes. His speech is still really impaired, and this past weekend, my mom and siblings who live in Cincinnati felt that my dad was taking a turn for the worse. They thought we should go and be there last weekend to spend time with him. We went to see him and although he is week and his speech is definitely not the best, he seems ok.

It is so hard to know. He seems so “okay” when we visited him this past weekend. Yesterday afternoon, after a stress test, they even said to mom that he may get to go home this week. It’s up and then it’s down. I know it is going to be this way with my dad’s health from now on, and I also know it is only a matter of time before he has the stroke that will take his life. His vascular disease is definitely advanced and his lifestyle is not the healthiest. So I have been spending the last few weeks trying to steel myself for what could happen, any day now, or months or years from now.

Then, out of nowhere comes the curveball. Last night, around midnight I got a call from my brother Brian, telling me that my cousin Teresa was killed in an auto accident. She was technically our cousin, but she and her sisters grew up in my house, my parents raised them so in all respects, they are my sisters too. So, in essence, my sister died last night. The very last thing I would have expected.

She was hit by a drunk driver. Her sister (my cousin/sister Diane) was following in her car and saw the whole thing–saw the drunk driver hit Teresa’s car, saw Teresa thrown from the car, saw everything. Teresa’s daughter Danielle was in the car with Teresa. She was injured but not badly, unless you count the horrible injury to her heart that this disaster has inflicted.

Now the phone rings every so often, with my sisters and brothers and cousins, all calling to keep me filled in on everything and letting me know the status of the arrangements for the funeral.

Teresa’s husband is in the hospital, dying of liver cancer. Teresa and her husband have 2 daughers, Danielle and Alesha, ages 17 and 12. We knew that Teresa’s husband was going, but who expects something like this? I am terrified for her daughters, facing a life without their parents.

My siblings and dad’s doctor were supposed to be meeting at 3 to go and break the news to my dad. This is really something that worries me because Teresa was so very close to my dad. He lived with her and her family for a few years, and she and her kids have always been extremely close to him. This news will be hard for him to take, especially in his condition, but his doctor felt we should let him know.

I keep saying prayers for Teresa, her kids, her husband, and the rest of my family. I loved her very much. She was a major part of my life. I’m so glad for the time I had with her. I’m sorry my little Lola will never know her goodness.

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