A True Story Book Excerpt From
written by Randi G. Fine
Chapter One: Keith’s Death
For some moments in life there are no words ~ David Selzer
As we lay on our backs looking up at the sky, I glanced over at Cammy expecting to see a spark of childish wonderment in her eyes. She’d been a delight, as was typically her nature, but with the excitement of the evening I’d forgotten that it really was way past her bedtime. I could see that she was fighting the urge to sleep; her tiny eyelids looked heavy and kept drifting closed.
Almost an hour had passed since the first launching of the fireworks display. With a sense that the grand finale might begin at any moment, we made a split-second decision to pack up our camp and leave a few minutes early. With any luck we’d avoid the torrent of people all trying to exit the park at the same time, hopefully circumventing the impending traffic jam on the only road out of there.
We quickly grabbed our things and then proceeded to forge a pathway through the vast sea of spectators, trying to be as considerate as possible under the circumstances and not to trample on anyone’s blanket. Feeling secure in the safety of her Daddy’s arms, Cammy laid her sleepy head on his shoulder as we headed for our car.
As we drove home, I turned my head around and peered into the back seat of the Maxima. Not surprisingly Cammy was sound asleep, her head gently resting on the adult-sized seatbelt strap that miniaturized her petite stature by contrast. A perfectly spiraled golden curl lay softly over one eye. I found myself gazing at her for a moment, marveling at her untainted beauty. Though I dreaded the thought of ever having to disturb her, I knew that we’d be home in less than fifteen minutes. Surely she’d wake up as we transferred her from the car into the house.
“Daddy will carry you upstairs,” I said as he lifted her languid, dazed, and glassy-eyed, out of the car. He carried her up the front walkway and into the house. “Brush your teeth and get ready for bed, then I’ll come up to tuck you in and kiss you goodnight.”
I stood in the foyer watching as they ascended the staircase. Then as I turned and faced the unlit kitchen straight ahead, the blinking red light on the answering machine that was sitting near the edge of the kitchen counter caught my eye. I felt it beckoning me with rapidly pulsating, imposing urgency. Curious, but with a sense of inexplicable foreboding, I approached the machine and played the message.
“Keith’s dead. Call me as soon as you get home.” Her tone of voice was stunningly matter-of-fact; she hadn’t identified herself but she didn’t need to. There was no mistaking the distinct, raspy sound of my ex-mother-in-law’s voice…I knew it well.
Though predictable and imminent, the startling news railroaded me. Keith, my thirty-four year old ex-husband was dead.
The jolting impact of that day, Wednesday, July 4, 1990, would be indelibly pressed on my memory forever.
More Excerpts from Randi’s Books:
Excerpts from Randi’s Memoir, Fine…ly
Excerpts from Randi’s Inspirational Life Fulfillment Book, Awaken From Life