One night, one call, all lost.
Instant shock, heart stopped, breath gone.
Our family tree so painfully torn.
No, couldn’t be true… I knew.
Quick, hurry, rush. Have to leave, must go.
Arrive, open the door, pastor is here.
He wants to sit and talk.
Don't want to sit, are you crazy?
Leave me be, let me see.
(Thinking to myself) It's okay, I can fix him.
Not to worry, he will be alright.
Watch I can wake him up, just give me the chance.
Looking down at the body bag, I knew...
They say “Are you sure you want to see him.”
What!! Got to see, need to see! I nodded.
That cold, ugly, black bag.
It's way too quite. The zipper is loud.
There he lay, still, too still.
He looks really good. It's okay, just a scratch.
The smile gave him away. Huh, not dead.
I told myself,
He is fine, it's a joke. He plays them all the time.
See him grin, that onery grin, not dead.
I am sure he's faking it.
Just shake him, wake him up. Probably passed out drunk.
Watch he'll get up. He pulled off a good one this time.
He's not dead, not with that grin.
I focused for any movement... None.
Ha, ha very funny, you pulled it off, you win.
Listen… Shhh…. Nothing....
Can't hear him breath.
It's not funny any more. Wake up, move, do something!!
Hey, come on. That’s enough! Get up, let's go.
Breath, Lance, Breath! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!
Lance?!?! Oh God, Lance?!?! Oh no! Lance?!?
No, no!! It's true. He is dead, he's dead!!
Than I heard my first shaky words.
“Are you sure he is dead?”
“Yes” the coroner said.
“What did you get yourself into this time
Cruel thing to say, I didn’t mean it, just came out.
He was gone, really gone.
Softly, I stroked his hair, leaned in and kissed his forehead.
There was nothing more I could do...
Walked outside to smoke.
I was the first one here.
Soon our family will be here.
Oh no, I forgot it's mom and dad's anniversary.
They will never celebrate it again...
Have to be strong for all of them.
Three cigarettes later, they are all here.
So many packed into one car.
Somber faces, walked in ever so quietly.
One by one, yet strongly together.
We all looked down at him.
A few tears, not many from one sister.
Whispering to him “No more pain, Bubbie, no
Left to go get some air, I think.
My oldest son tried hard not to cry, but moist was his face with fresh tears.
I held him tight, tried to ease his pain.
Mom was trying to be professional about it, conversating with the coroner.
She never looked so hallow before...
Dad, poor dad, took it really hard.
He was so lost and confused.
I had never seen him this broken before...
No tears from the oldest sibling.
Only her face showed her agony.
Our brother was gone.
A son was dead.
Father to four, no more.
A friend to many.
It was soberly true.
One by one, we quietly stepped outside.
All is silent, lost in our hazy thoughts.
My brain, it's frozen, can't function.
Someone please say something, anything.
I couldn't bare not to hear, some kind of noise.
All of us surrounded, yet so very alone.
Finally, they headed back home.
First one here, last one to go.
I couldn't comprehend leaving him there.
He was cold, and becoming stiff...
Up went the zipper.
Alone in that dark black bag.
Nothing I could do. I had to leave him there.
I was overwhelmed with guilt.
We argued the last time we spoke.
He was the only one in our family that ever truly showed me love.
Every breath I took burned.
My soul was disgusted with me.
What was left of my heart, shriveled up.
At the funeral,
I heard the most horrific, sorrowful cries...
Then I realized, the cries were coming from me.
Oh God, please let this be a nightmare..
I remembering trying to pick him up and hold him, hug him. I needed my big brother's bear hug, where I always felt safe.
Everyone was gasping reminding me of his children.
I let him go and said, “My brother was my hero, and he was my best friend.”
I cried so hard for so long, that there was no more tears, yet I was still crying.
At the cemetery, it became more real.
When his casket was being lowered down I collapsed.
“Lance, no, no!!"
My father pulled me up.
I looked at him in disbelief, saying “Daddy, we can't just leave him down there, we can't!!”
“I know sis, but we have to.”
A piece of me was buried that day too.
My heart still mourns for all that could of been.
Life has never been the same again.
Lance, I love you brother.
The wind is still knocked out of me.
Even after 12 years.
Bubbie, I miss you so much!
Til i see you again....
Lori Lee Mack
Robert Lance Mack
March 18 1967 - June 7 2006
(Our parents 53rd wedding anniversary)
39 years old
Left behind four children
Becca, Tyler, Ethan, and the one he never met Ryan