A Visit With Family
It’s crazy to me to think how a connection with a family member you never expected to make can affect you in such a profound way.
This past weekend my brother Kevin and I took my dad to visit his niece Marie and her family in Austin to celebrate his 85th birthday and her 34th Anniversary. Upon arrival, her son Anthony and his fiancé met us at the car and helped us bring our luggage into the house where Marie was (as always) preparing something in the kitchen for us to eat.
I vaguely remembered meeting Anthony at one other time in my whole life. He seemed like a nice kid, his girlfriend was equally sweet though quite a bit younger than him. I can’t recall her name.
The weekend was nice, Anthony left that first evening (Friday night) but said we would see him again at some point Saturday night at Marie’s party. We were taught the basics of good gumbo making, assisted Marie in the kitchen while she cooked it-me being the self-appointed clean-up crew and Kevin trying to learn what he could so he could some day replicate her family recipe. Marie makes the most delicious gumbo ever!!
I took tons of pictures and even a short video or two, Saturday night there was new people to meet and mingle with, as Kevin and Dad watched a Friday the 13th marathon in the background. We ate gumbo and the brisket Marie’s husband David had prepared for some 24 hours it seemed like. It was all mouth watering and yummy. Sunday after breakfast, Marie’s daughter and her boys came, there was another breakfast served for them, and a bit of family drama, then we all got ready to go to a place in the hill country…something David wanted us to experience while we were there.
The place was called the Oasis and the views were spectacular, high above Lake Travis in Austin’s hill country. We dined out on the patio with the gorgeous, blue lake in the background and wandered through a couple of the shops that were open in the complex that makes up the high-end shopping and dining destination. Let me just tell you, one goes for the view, not necessarily the food, which was overpriced and just ok.
The ride back home to Ft Worth was mostly uneventful, we got in a bit after seven, and as I was unloading the car and helping Dad put his stuff away, I got the call from Marie’s daughter Shannon that Anthony and his girlfriend had been in a horrible rollover accident, which killed her and put Anthony in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. I have not had an update yet, as it is very early here and I don’t dare call yet. She was probably in the hospital by his side all night. I have not been able to concentrate or think straight since I got the call. I did not want to upset my dad with the news, so I hurried out before it spilled out of my mouth.
I have been up now since just after 4 am, and I have thought of little else. How do I tell him? I know we weren’t that close, yet now I feel like this binds us to Marie and her family like never before, she will need our support and prayers to move ahead. We need to pray for Anthony, because when he wakes up and hears the devastating news, it will be so hard for him to cope with that. I don’t know any details of the crash, just that it was a rollover and the car ended up on the roof. Anthony has a head injury among others, so I’m sure it will be a while before he recovers.
I feel for the young lady’s family, she was very young, in her twenties. Say a prayer for them as well.
I don’t have the heart to post a bunch of happy pictures in light of this news, maybe I will in a different post. My emotions are raw and jagged right now, as I try to wrap my head around the news and all the implications.