Death Is Trite

It was very simple. All I had to do that day was pick my 15 year old sister Cherokee up from driver's ed and then take her to the dollar store. I had Chief and Commander (our Boston Terrier bulldogs) in the back because I was too lazy to put them in their pen or in the house. Horribly simple. I pick her up I give her some gum, put on some Sublime and we go. We came up to the four way intersection (which I treated as a four way stop) looked both ways, and saw out of the corner of my eye a truck coming up on the right. I didn't think much of it since I really did think it was a four way stop.

He didn't stop.

Mr. Daniel Webster, a 65 year old sober man and his very large diesel truck t-boned my 94 Bonneville. The glass all seemed to crash in at once, the air bag flew open and it felt to me like I was a piece of confetti.

I don't remember blacking out but, when I woke up we were pushed kiddy corner to where we had stopped. I didn't feel anything for a moment until my ears popped. I tasted blood and glass and burnt rubber. All of a sudden I remembered, Cherokee! She was on the side that was hit. I tried to move but I couldn't really turn that well but, managed to get close enough to her to grab her hand and her nails were already white. I screamed her name. Over and over and over and over. I called her Mon Petite Joie. I thought she might be choking on the gum and fumbled to give her CPR only proceding to wipe my blood on her face. She was barely breathing through her nose. Her eyes flickered. She couldn't speak. She wasn't bleeding. Chief was screaming in the back seat. SCREAMING. I turned to try and see him, he couldn't sit or stand, all he could do was scream, his spine was broken.

There was a woman at Cherokee's window as I continued to scream her name. She asked me to calm down, I, of course under the circumstances, politely refused. She told me to ask Cherokee questions. I asked her, "Tell the lady about your grades, you've got A's don't you?" "Cherokee, mon petite, what's your favorite color? Pink, Pink, Pink, right?" I remembered Commander, so tiny. I didn't see him in the back seat. I asked the weird woman, "What about the little dog? Do you see him?" "He didn't make it, Honey. They ambulance and fire truck are coming. Stay still alright? My sister's a nurse, she told me that if you're in an accident you should stay still."

She moved and I saw his corpse parallel with Cherokee's face, unmoving, on the grass two weeks before Christmas.

The emts eventually came, and I told them and God and my ancestors and anyone else who would listen for them not to take Cherokee, to take me instead, I would give everypart of me of my being for it to be me. I knew. But, I was hysterical, who was going to listen to me? They told me to let go and finally, I had to.

And Chief continued to scream above the sirens, above the car stereo, that oddly enough was still playing Santeria (Voodoo).

Cherokee died an hour later, in Trauma ward, blood pouring out of her inner wounds like a mineral spring. I tried to wipe it away, I clawed at my arms, my face, I screamed her name, I screamed at myself, I screamed No. 

This isn't another sad story of drunk driving or joy riding, it was just me and my sister going to get Christmas cards at a cheapo dollar store. But, that's what it'll be made to be, be safe kids, don't celebrate Christmas or some other b.s. The real lesson is that we have no control. Period.

WingedMarvel WingedMarvel
18-21, F
3 Responses Jan 17, 2007

My gosh! This is horrific! This can happen to any of us on any day. There are no further words and my whole heart goes out to you.

I agree with you. I have not experienced any kind of tragedy, especially as heart wrenching as yours. You survived but your sister did not. I cannot imagine the pain and disconnection you must have felt after such an experience. Feeling numb and lost and grief all at once.<br />
<br />
Life is an experience that we should enjoy and take advantage of with every second of every day.<br />
Because there is no telling the difference between one day from the day you die or almost die or experience something that drastically changes your life forever.<br />
When I was younger I use to wonder...do we know? Do we know when we go or that this is the day that we die or something will change?<br />
But through other's experiences and stories and my empathy. I realize that we don't. It is a day like any other. We wake up, have breakfast or skip it because we are running late as usual. We run our errands, go to work, to school, to the grocery store as we need to pick up a few ingredients for the dinner we have planned that night. and then its like BAM! IT happens. It being whatever it is that changes our world as we know it so quickly so drastically, we wonder...how did this happen? Could I have prevented it? If only I had paid attention, if only I did not look down, if only I got there on time, if only I had swerved to the right instead of the left, if only I locked my doors, if only I did not take that last hit or snort that last line, if only I had listen to my parents, if only I stayed home instead of going to that party, if only....<br />
Thank you for sharing. I hope in doing so...another inch of you has healed. I am sure it is a process.

i'm so so sorry. i don't know what else to say, i wish i knew the words..