Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life Adjacent to Death, or The Weirdest Reason EVER to Make Cookies

Haley and I were driving home from watching Logan's "Patriotic Program" at school. First I noticed police cars in our street. Then I saw that our street was totally blocked. While I drove around the subdivision to enter from the other end, I called Roscoe, who was home with napping Jesse and Mallory. He reported that everything was fine and that apparently there had been a car crash on our street.

The drive through our neighborhood looked like a parade route, with people congregating on along sidewalks. Before I reached our street, someone flagged me down and told me what had really happened. I pulled in to park in a neighbor’s driveway, and the bishop—by some miraculous power of being in the wrong place at the right time—pulled in right behind me. I left the van and Haley at the neighbor’s and the bishop escorted me around the police tape to my driveway.

The short version is that someone died standing in my yard. No one we know; no one from the neighborhood. The long version is something we’ve decided as a neighborhood we’re not sharing with the children.

Haley stayed at the neighbor’s while various emergency vehicles did their work. Logan and Levi were intercepted at that same neighbor’s, and by the time they came home an hour later, all evidence had been removed or washed away by the fire truck’s hose.

Poor Roscoe and I were quarantined in the house, curtains drawn, willing ourselves not to watch the drama unfolding outside. Things felt pretty dark. So finally I said, “You know what we need? Chocolate chip cookies. There’s nothing that’s not a little bit better with chocolate chip cookies.”

“With milk,” Roscoe replied. And down to the kitchen we went.

I thought I was keeping pretty cool as I discussed logistics with whatever personnel spent their afternoon in my driveway, as I called other neighborhood moms to develop a unified explanation to the kids, as I carried on with life adjacent to death. But now that the kids are tucked away and darkness is falling, I feel like the emotional equivalent of a puddle. Tomorrow, I keep telling Roscoe, will be a much brighter day.


  1. I couldn't believe it when I heard, I totally wondered how you were coping. But it sounds like cookies were the perfect solution, you needed to make a happy home memory. Wow.

  2. And I hope I would be as calm and composed and hopefully I'll remember your example if something similar happens.

  3. Yickes! I can't wait to hear the real story. But in the meantime ... holy cow!!! Chocolate chip cookies sound like the absolutely perfect solution to that problem.

  4. OH MY GOODNESS! That sounds like all sorts of crazy. Chocolate I'm sure was a good distraction.

  5. Sound like our services may be needed. See you next week!