September 28, 1982 (38 years ago today). Misty, Rebecca, and me are in a guest house on Oral & Evelyn’s compound, just north of the ORU campus. Adults are huddling together and then go outside to speak privately. There is an unspoken tension in the air. “Where is mom?” I ask.
Billy Joe Daugherty comes into the house and asks us all to sit down on the couch. “Your mother has been in a car accident today and she didn’t make it” was essentially what I heard our pastor say. I stared at the TV and reimagined Captain Comeback, Roger Staubach, leading a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Someone handed me a phone and as I lifted it to my ear, I heard Dad say, “Scotty, Mom has been in a terrible accident and she is gone to heaven. She isn’t coming back.”
I then heard my Dad cry for the first time. Superman had met his kryptonite, as Dad’s heart was rent in two. I can’t imagine the pain he was going through and then having to tell his three children that their mother was never coming home again. My super, indestructible father was showing me that it was okay to cry and that in crying you acknowledged your profound sense of loss.