It was a Wednesday night and I had school the next morning so I knew I would need permission from my parents to see the movie. My dad was really strict with me growing up so I always called my mom for permission in this kind of situation. I had called her several times throughout the day and couldn't get a hold of her. I remember growing frustrated thinking "Why own a cell phone if you're never going to use it". It was getting close to the time we would need to leave for the theater when I finally caved and called my dad. I knew he would already be upset with me that I didn't go home right after work so I expected the worst. He picked up the phone and immediately asked where I was. I explained that I was at Johnny's house and we wanted to go see a movie. He told me I needed to come home right away. Frustrated, I asked for an explanation. My grades were good (as far as he knew) and it really wasn't that late. As if I had said nothing at all he responded, "Where are you? I'll come pick you up." I told him that would be unnecessary and that I would have another friend Dan drive me home. I remember saying to Dan on the ride home that I couldn't wait to graduate and get out of my parents house so that I could "be free". When we got to my house I told Dan to wait a minute while I went in to see what my dad wanted. Maybe he just wanted me to clean my room.
I walked in through my front door to see my 10 and 12 year old sisters crying on the front stairs. I thought "Oh no, what happened to Oakley?" Oakley was our Cocker Spaniel. My sisters loved our Cocker Spaniel.
Next to the stairs my dad was sitting on the living room couch. He stood and walked over to me. There was no stammering or hesitation. He looked me in the eyes and said "Mom was in a car accident today and she was killed." I looked at my sisters waiting for them to laugh at the bad joke my dad had just told me. But they kept crying.
This may seem long winded at this point. I haven't referenced the song "Hope to Hold" but this is as good as any, a way to illustrate the meaning of this song.Almost ten years have passed since my moms accident and I still remember all of this like it was yesterday. I remember her taking me to get new shoes the night before. I remember the beautiful conversation we had while we visited at the mall. I remember missing the bus for school that morning and waiting for her to get home from aerobics class so she could take me to class. For my little sisters however, I imagine the memories are far more limited. The time they had with her is now almost the same amount of time she has been gone. I hope that they can remember more of their early childhood than I do.
I am not one to say that "Not a day has passed that I don't think of her". Shamefully days have passed that I haven't thought of her. Not many, but I've had those days. I started writing Hope to Hold after one of those days. I hate those days.
Hope to Hold is about the hope to remember, and the fear to forget.
The days the weeks, the months, and years will fade
Like the rose pedals here, from your grave Iv'e saved
Oh the shame as my mind begins to refuse
Like the rose pedals we forget the beauty we once knew