My Story

I wrote this as an assignment for my English comp class in 2005. It is my story in a narrative essay form, which will explain the format it is written in. I was a 30 year old grandfather by virtue of near marriage. I was engaged to a grandmother. Her son was only 16 when Carrieanne was born. Her mother was only 15. I hope you can accept me as a grieving grandparent. Legally it was not so. However noone asked me for a marriage certificate when Sharon and I took care of Carrieanne, up all night with her when she was sick and Jeff and Jenn couldn't handle it anymore. I spent a year loving and caring for Carrieanne. I loved her as my grandchild. We would take her down the shore and to the park. From the moment she threw me her saliva covered football, and put her sticky fingers around my neck to give me a hug she had my heart. In another month I would have been her grandfather legally. So much for my introduction. I welcome your responses. I hope I may find comfort friendship and support here. For seven years I tried to forget this day to push it out of my mind. I have dealt with it by NOT dealing with it. If I am NOT welcome, as hurtful though that will be, I will unsubscribe myself. I also want to know, how long will it hurt for? After seven years shouldn't I be over it? People tell me forget it, it's past let it go. What's wrong with me that I can't do that? Again I'd appreciate your responses. And if any of you can relate to any of my guilt or sorrow or if you had a similar experience I'd REALLY like to hear from you. April 19, 2000, a day that will live in infamy, my infamy. It was the worst day of my life, the day I took a life. I was driving a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix, and I needed to replace it. I had found a car that I was interested in purchasing in Manheim. As I know very little about cars, at my fiancée Sharon’s suggestion we set out to Quarryville, to pick up her son, Jeff, who knew a fair amount about cars. Jeff had a little girl whose name was Carrieanne. We arrived at Jeff’s house around 1830, and sat around talking. Carrieanne was outside too, helping her maternal granddad Charlie, paint the tractor. At 19 months old, she stood just less than two feet tall, and was as cute as a button. I loved her dearly, as the granddaughter she would one day be to me. Around 1910 we decided to get going, as it would soon be dark I walked around the back of the car, and opened the drivers’ door for Sharon, who got in the back seat, and I got into the front seat. Jeff meanwhile, got in on the passenger side front seat. Jeff was talking to Jen, his wife to be, through the passenger window. Carrieanne was playing in the dirt behind her granddads car. Jeff asked Jen to get him some paper towels or a rag, from in the house, so he could check the fluid levels on the car we would be looking at. When Jen returned to the car with the paper towels, there was no sign of Carrieanne anywhere. We figured Carrieanne had stayed in the house with her Aunt Missy, so we weren’t too concerned. Jeff kissed Jen goodbye, and I started the car. After checking the mirrors, I placed my foot on the brake, put the car in reverse, and looking out my rear window, proceeded to back slowly down the driveway toward the turnaround point. The car had just started moving when Charlie yelled, “ Move the f’ing car, you hit…!” And I couldn’t make out what he said I had hit, I hadn’t felt a bump or anything. My heart rose in my throat as I thought I might have hit one of those little dogs that were always running around the property. That would have been bad enough, but the reality was far worse. I pulled the car forward turned it off and got out. And there, lying where just moments before my right rear tire had been was Carrieanne. At first she wasn’t crying or nothing just laying there, gurgling, the remnants of the cookie she had been eating still in her mouth. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, but was actually only moments, she started crying. The ambulance was called and they showed up around 1930. Carrieanne was placed onto a backboard, her neck in collar, and loaded on to the ambulance. She was rushed to Lancaster General some 15 miles away, with me following close behind. The ER staff did the best they could, but the internal injuries were just too great, and around 2330, she took her last breath, and her little heart stopped beating. I was devastated. At first, I wanted to kill myself, a life for a life. People tried to comfort me that night, and in the days and weeks that followed, but I was inconsolable. Jeff wanted to kill me with his bare hands, and his brother Lee, just wanted to beat me up real bad. Trooper Edmunds suggested I leave the hospital immediately, for my own safety. After Trooper Edmunds completed his investigation, he told me it was an accident, and there was nothing I could have done to avoid it. He said based on the evidence, by the time the car started moving, it was already too late. He also said, given Carrieanne’s height there was no way I could have seen her and no charges were going to be filed against me. However, I still FELT responsible. One of the things that I found the least comforting was the people that were telling me “it was only an accident, it wasn’t your fault.” In my mind, I kept going through the if only’s… If only I had walked around the car one more time. If only I had thought to ask where Carrieanne was, instead of assuming she was inside… If only. All I knew for certain was that Carrieanne was dead and it was my fault. If I hadn’t been there that night she would still be alive today. Despite the fact my insurance company paid out $113,000 to the family, they still wanted more, so they filed a civil suit. The case went to trial in January 2004. The jury found me “Not Guilty”. Jen’s mother, Maryanne, went to my fire company and told them I had murdered her granddaughter, and that she wouldn’t come to Bingo there anymore if I was there, helping out. Sharon was supportive, at first, in the end we broke up, and she has since married. Jeff and Jen got married; they now have a healthy son. As for me, I still find myself revisiting the if only’s. Yes April 19th 2000 a day that will live in infamy, MY infamy
I welcome your feedback.
GentlemanBobIII GentlemanBobIII
41-45, M
Jul 8, 2011