The Day Everything Went Wrong

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taken for granted, by me, are so many things. We don't plan for the unexpected things that occur from day to day. Then, in the blink of an eye, something horrendous happens and your life is never the same again. I was confronted with this when I received the shocking news, my breath was taken away and a sob was caught deep within my very soul. The unwanted yet undeniable words, telling me my cousin Johnny was dead. I so often seem to be immobilized by that moment. "He played life to the fullest, and without regret, he bet it all and braved the fall". For me, that is the day everything went wrong.

Ray and Jerilynn, My parents and my daughter, Alexa live in Costa Mesa, California. My Mothers sister Aunt Carole and Uncle Lenny, Karen, Joe and Johnny my cousins live about a block away. I, myself had been living in Newport Beach, California, about 5 miles away. Regardless I saw them all, most every day.

I can still feel the humidity on my skin and in my hair on that very dark day. It was August 26th, 2009, my Cousin Johnny’s 43rd birthday. I was at my parent’s house kickin’ around some ideas for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend party that we always had. A big celebration always but it was my cousin Johnny's birthday as well. So much happiness and so many hopes and dreams! Freeze-frame - We were interrupted by a phone call from my Aunt Carole. My Mother was so happy, but then she always is. She had picked up the phone, dead silence so intense, you could feel it. I have always been able to feel before anything real came to be. I knew almost immediately, before my picture perfect beautiful Mother turned the color of

Cadaver white, something was VERY wrong! My Mom started to cry and yelled “NO, OH MY GOD, NO", choked by tears, "Is he ok? What happened? She asked? Thinking my uncle Lenny… or…something happened. She was saying "OH MY GOD, NO". Over and over and over again. Finally I managed the words “What is going on? Mom what is it”? It was then she choked...
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