September 11th is a double whammy of sadness for me, not just for the senseless loss of lives due to terrorist attacks on this date in 2001, but my sister-in-law, Missy, was killed in an auto accident on the same date in 1994. My heart goes out to those that lost loved ones.
In the above pic,Missy is holding Kyle. It was at Discovery Zone, which was play place for kids with a kids obstacle course, a mini ball pit for younger kids and lots of space to run and play (it is where the Dollar Tree is now in Coldwater Plaza in Fort Wayne). We were there for my niece’s 2nd birthday party in March.
Just a month before he turned one and she helped plan and prepare for his birthday party. She had backed cookies, made mini-pizza’s and made a fish pinata that was the highlight for the kids that attended. Just a week before it happened, my brother, her husband, had graduated from IIT and was looking forward to not having to pull double shifts at the hospital anymore once he got a job as he refused to work while he was in school. It was the last time that I saw her.
She was an LPN and nicknamed “Sergeant”. She had gotten her nursing degree in the Army and she applied her military background in running her ward and was an advocate for her patients. She wasn’t afraid to wake a doctor up in the middle of the night if her patient needed something.
Outside of work, she was easy going with a dry wit and fun be around. On the weekends we used to garage sales. We would load up the kids in the wagon and walk around and scout for deals. She pointed out to me to get the best toys, go to working class neighborhoods instead of a rich one as the people spend their money on their kids instead of themselves to try impress their neighbors and sell at reasonable prices.
Once I bought a couch at a garage sale and thought we might need to come back with assistance to load it in my van, and she said “No, I got it” and she picked it up, carried it to the van and put it in before I even had a chance to utter a word. I was amazed. She shrugged it off saying she lifted patients everyday that weighed a lot more.
She never got enough sleep as she worked full time and still tried to do everything a stay at home mom would do with her daughter. On the day of the accident had heard she was coming back from her Mom’s after canning some food together.
Although it has now been 21 years, it still isn’t any easier to talk about, but she was a wonderful person and I want to celebrate her memory.