Everyone has something in life that sparks memories. A sound, a smell, a feeling. Sometimes the memories that come with those things aren’t highlight reel times, they are some of the worst times of your life.
I am someone who never moved out of their home town. I live 6 streets away from my childhood home. I like it here. I have many memories and things that I enjoy here. I have basically lived my whole life in one place.
So, when I heard sirens racing in the direction of my childhood home from the kitchen of my own home, it sparked a memory of something I would rather forget. It stopped me in my tracks for a minute. It took me to a place I never wanted to be.
But I will never forget standing in my neighbors home at 12 years old – hearing the sirens racing toward us. They were headed to my house next door. They were coming to help my family.
Cops, paramedics, and firetrucks blazed down our street. My mom and I stood looking outside from the inside of the neighbors house as the police entered our home. Finally the paramedics were here to help my mom.
All I could hear was what felt like hundreds of sirens. Everything seemed to be moving so fast yet so slow at the same time.
I was terrified. I knew my mom was hurt, my dad did it, and now the police were here. I knew it was not going to end well. I knew my dad would be angrier now that we called for help. I hoped my mom was okay, I hoped my dad wouldn’t see us. ‘Couldn’t they just turn the lights and sirens off?’ Everyone was going to know something was wrong.
Hearing sirens reminds me of the day my life changed forever. The day my own father decided that he was done with his life, the day that he decided he would try to end both myself & my mothers lives as well.
Hearing sirens reminds me of watching my mom, my whole world at that time of my life, being loaded into an ambulance. I didn’t know if she was going to be okay.
Hearing sirens reminds me of knowing that my dad was going to be gone forever – one way or another.
Hearing sirens reminds me of being driven away from my childhood home not knowing if either of my parents were going to be alive the next day.
Hearing sirens reminds me of knowing that even though help was coming, everything was not going to be okay.
20 years later, hearing sirens sends me into a panic most times. It takes me back to that day in September instantly.
I know that sirens are a sign of help on the way but they are also a sign that something is wrong. That’s exactly how I feel every time I hear them.
I am so very thankful for all the first responders and everything they do, but those sirens get me every time.