“You have a collect call from…”

March 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm 5 comments

There are days that are unbearable, black holes of days and nights.

A black hole’s gravity is so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape its pull once inside the black hole’s boundary, called the event horizon. Time slows down near a black hole. If you and some friends were in a spaceship orbiting a black hole, and your friends (unwisely) decide to don spacesuits and venture into the black hole while you remain behind, you would notice that their movements, or if you could see them, their wristwatches, would become slower and slower as they approached the black hole, until, right at the event horizon, they would appear frozen in time .

The black hole days suck you in , there is little chance of escape, you are sucked along on the dark ride.

Then there are days that find you struggling to perform tasks of some normalcy and nights where exhaustion causes the body to rest and the brain to try to make sense of the nightmares. So far these have been our weeks and months. We exist and try to get through each waking moment, pick one thing we will accomplish today , keep us busy it is all we can do. These are “our” good days.

Yesterday was one of those “black hole”days and it sucked us all in at the same time.

It is so hard for me , who has always tried to find the solution, or a way through things , to help my loved ones. I was pretty much the “idea” person in the family on how to get things sorted. I am at a loss , I don’t know what to do to make things better, to ease the pain and hurt felt by those I love. I have no words to comfort, I can’t fix things.
I am sucked into the vortex along with those I love.

I retreated to my “try not to think place” turned the TV up loud and watched some inane program ( I have been known to watch cartoons on occasion) when the phone rang


“You have a collect call from CHRIS “

I can’t begin to tell you the thoughts that went rushing through my brain and heart – I couldn’t speak , I couldn’t comprehend – when eventually through the fog that became my being I heard “from the Lorain County Correctional facility” .

I realized some Chris was trying to “phone home” and had the wrong number. I hung up .

This Chris called back 6 times- “is this person thick? I know he is probably stupid enough to get himself in jail, but wouldn’t you check the number after 6 tries,

I found myself screaming at the “robotic recording” he has the wrong number …the robot recording didn’t respond . I finally blocked the number.

I was left wishing I could get a collect call from Chris – I would gladly pay any price to hear his voice again. I can hear you in my mind – your

“hello”, “pretty good yourself?”, “there you go” and “I love you too!:

but I am so frightened I am losing the sound of your voice from deep within – they are fading too as time goes on.

Senses are denied, the sense of touch, smell, hearing our son – we can still see his likeness, and taste our tears and the bitter taste of disgust thanks to the “others”
We exist in a fragile world where just getting a wrong number can send you reeling back into a vortex of the unbearable “darkness” of being.


Entry filed under: Brit take, Chris Ritchey, death. Tags: , , .

Pride through Progress- thirty seven years later WHAT DO YOU KNOW? The Complex Complex

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark  |  March 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Of all the names in the world, WHY did it have to be Chris from the Correctional facility?

    Mary and I hope and pray all the time for you and Ritchey and Nikki.

  • 2. Mark  |  March 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Ooops, I guess I didn’t close that boldface correctly. Sorry.

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  March 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I don’t know but about half and hour ago the phone rang and it was Paul from Cancer Support

    “Hi Loraine – how are you ”

    Me. “Not good”

    Paul “Oh I am sorry to hear that , but we have a program that will help with your sons cancer expenses and medications and supplies”

    Me- “my son died 14 weeks ago today”

    Paul – Oh I am sorry I won’t bother you further…….

    I didn’t need to be reminded of that this morning….

  • 4. wildthane  |  March 13, 2010 at 2:45 am

    I am sending you love and strength from NY. Look for Chris in the clearing, Spring skies, the wonderful new air and Gavin’s smile. Your life has been forever touched by his beauty and we are all, even those of us that have never met you or your family, enriched by his spirit.

  • 5. thatwoman  |  March 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you , I have a lot more of his spirit to share .it takes such a lot out of me to write about him and some days the loss is heart stopping ( literally ) Loraine

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