A knock at the door four years ago….

Raechel Anne Barnard

My cell rang during training. The kids wouldn’t call unless it was important. Raechel was crying. ”Mom, can I move back home?”
” Of course. What do you need me to do?” She would borrow my minivan; her little zoomer would not hold much. Younger sister, Sara, would help her move out of her boyfriend’s house.
The girls picked me up after the training, seemingly in good spirits. I hugged Raechel and said we would help her figure something out. She was so independent that I could not imagine her wanting to stay for long. She would rather come by on her own for suppers, snacks and to hang out with her sister and little brother. We had all been enjoying each other this summer.
I had to collect Trevor from Vacation Bible School. She needed to go make her car payment.
‘’Raechel, we’ll be eating hamburgers across the street for dinner, come with.’’
‘’I might go with friends,’’ she replied.
‘’That’s okay. I’m glad you’re here.’’ I told her.
‘Thanks, momma.’
I watched her walk to her silver little car. Beautiful, tan skin, cute tank top, luscious dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. She is home. I felt such joy and relief. I crossed the street to pick up Trevor from VBS, shouting, ‘’See you later, sweetie.’’
Our regular routine, late dinner because of Peter’s long hours. We discussed how we would handle an adult child in the house. It would be a challenge for us all. Then all off to bed for us. I was wishing I had gotten her a key already.
There was a knock at the door. 1:30 a.m. Holy cow. This would definitely be a conversation with Rae tomorrow.
It was the officer Raechel had thought was so cute when he helped her unlock her car one of the times she locked herself out. Like mother like daughter.
He asked me to get dressed and come with him. Peter was sitting up in bed, wide awake and asked me if he should call Marilee to sit with the kids and follow me. Of course.
I was in a daze. The officer said nothing for our three block ride. There were so many young people wandering the hospital parking lot. I could not fathom why.
I was led in and a nurse greeted me. I followed her. I just knew that whatever happened I would care for Raechel and nurse her back to health. I would put everything on hold to help her.
The nurse took me to a curtained area.
‘I am so sorry. Your daughter was in a motorcycle accident with a young man. Neither survived. She passed away at midnight.’ She opened the curtain and there was my beautiful girl. My girl who just moved back home. My girl who had just asked if I could believe I have a daughter who would turn 19 soon. My girl who had taught me so much about being a parent.

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