“The Call”

On May 18, 2009, I received “the call.”

The call that changed my life forever still rings loudly in my head almost five years later.

Around 4:15 p.m. on May 18, 2009, I stood in front of my television set and watched a news bulletin flash across my screen.  The report indicated a young man had been shot at Harvard University.  Having been home all day, I decided to go out for a while after watching the alarming news story.    I left the house thinking my son Justin was in his room due to the fact that he had been there all day.  I planned to call him a little later that afternoon.  About an hour after leaving the house I received a call from Justin’s girlfriend.  She told me Justin had left home and she hadn’t heard from him in some time.  After trying to text him and call him, she could not reach him.  This was unusual for Justin so she decided to call me.  I told her I had not heard from Justin and would call him.  Justin was very close to me.  Proud to be a “momma’s boy,” he was 21 years old, and my baby.  If I called him, he would always answer or call me right back.  I picked up the phone and called him.  The call went straight to his voice mail.  I left him a message to call me right away.  I began to text him and received no answer.  The silence concerned me.  I decided to leave my friends’ home of whom I had gone to visit with for a while, and proceeded to drive home.

I began to dial a number on my cell phone as I drove down the winding Jamaica Way expressway from Boston towards Cambridge where I lived.  Just as I started my conversation, the phone rang.  It was the Call”.

I will never forget “The Call.”  On the other end of the phone was the voice of my son’s friend.  I can still hear it in clearly in my head.  With a nervous tone to his voice, he told me he was at the police station and something had happened to Justin.  I could not even fathom that this call would change my life forever.  This was the call that no parent ever want to receive.  The call resonates in the mind of the receiver forever.

Do you remember “the Call”?  The call that alerted you to get to the hospital asap. Something happened to your precious one.  The call that led to the doctors meeting you in the hallways saying “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t save your son or daughter.  Oh my God! The call is ingrained in every fiber of your being for the rest of your life.

The call that changes every parent’s life forever and leaves a void that can never be filled.  The call that makes every emotion you have surface.  The call that notified you that your child or loved one was just gunned down,  murdered or has had a fatal accident.  To lose someone to violence leaves you with so many unsolved emotions that you are just left baffled.  There is nothing more difficult than a parent having to say goodbye to a child or loved one, especially when the notice is so sudden.  Some evil person’s demonic behavior, drunk or careless driving or short temper cut short life of those we love so much.

Do you remember the Call?  Tell us, how you processed it? Did time stand still or has it moved yet? There are so many things one encounters as a life becomes changed due to violence. The family or loved ones left behind suffers in silence for many years to come. The Call is only the beginning of the nightmare that lies ahead.  Let’s not suffer in silence any more.  Let’s talk about it all.  Tell me what you remember about “the Call?”

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