When I was 19 I got married to a guy named Douglas Allen Garris. We had met in a coffee shop in Myrtle Beach, S.C. two years before and as soon as i met him, i knew...i was going to marry this guy. Ten months after we married we had a baby boy that looked just like Doug. And we loved him so much...and we loved each other so much. Of course...we were young, he was twenty two when we married, and so naturally we had our bad times and we even split up for a while. And for a while we lived apart and i kept our child while he moved back to the beach. We were unhappy but too proud to apologize.
When we finally swallowed our pride and started talking again we made a concious effort to be happy and good to each other, and on Easter of 2000 we moved back in with each other. And we were so happy. We had the perfect little family, we were adults now and we had our priorities in order. Needless to say, our son was very happy as well. Doug got a really good job that he was proud of and made good money at and i found myself pregnant. We couldnt possibly be any happier. Our daughter was born in March of 2001, on the 23rd. Now we were very young when our son was born and didn't really enjoy the 'baby' part of him. But now with our daughter...Doug loved her to pieces. I guess the whole father/daughter thing is true. I've never seen him look at someone so lovingly as he did her. We were happy, our children were happy, and we were actually enjoying life. We even began to discuss religion serously and pray with the children. We were happy.
Doug really loved his job. And he came home every day and talked about the guys he worked with and things he learned. One day he goes to work...and never came home. There was an accident on the construction site and Doug was the only one killed, or even hurt. I was at work when they called me to the hospital an hour away,and for some reason in my heart, i knew he was dead. When i arrived at the hospital the pastor was waiting for me. I couldn't see his eyes, he was hooked to a machine when i got there and had been brain dead for an hour. So i hugged him and loved him and told him goodbye. Then they pulled the plug. Did he hear me? I'll never know. I hope so. They say that he didnt suffer very long. I hope that is true.
I have no idea how i'm supposed to act as a widow. My son is six now and very matter-of-fact. Daddys dead, he says. i dont know how to help him with his emotions either. Is this going to mess him up as an adult? What about our daughter? She was only two months old when he passed. How is this going to affect her? And what do i say to other people? Do you know how many times ive heard "Your young, you'll find another man"? I dont want another man, i want my man...i want my best friend. Ive not had anyone to talk to in seven months. I come home and lie alone on my side of the bed and i'm alone. Its like ive been sucker-punched and my head is still ringing and nothings quite right. And im so lonely. Are my kids as lonely as me? I cant tell. Sometimes i dream hes talking to me and i wake up crying. My sister said i call out to him in my sleep. I hope somewhere he can hear me. My son goes to church every Sunday. And i pray every night. I pray for him, i pray for us, i pray for people i know have been touched with this grief. I know with time it will get easier. But time is so slow.
Thank you for giving me an outlet. And thank you for listening.