Thursday, March 19, 2015

Very Sad Days in Biloxi

Saturday afternoon we hit the road for Biloxi, arriving mid-afternoon on Sunday. We've biked, worked on the book, enjoyed wonderful seafood and have had beautiful sunny warm weather the entire time. We have 2 mothers, 97 and 99, so we are always conscious that a phone call may call us home early. The phone call came, but it was the last thing we ever could have expected, and much more devastating. Carlton called. His best buddy since high school had called him while Carlton was on his way to his house, telling him not to come, to go to the hospital instead. Carlton and he are like brothers, both best man for each other, and his kids are like Carlton's own; they are Kayla's younger brother and sister (their mother living at a distance and not terribly involved with them). We dearly love them. She, 13, had been air-lifted to the closest ER, having been stabbed multiple times by brother, 15. It's been all over the local news. She was in intensive care for 3 days and is now, at least physically, on the mend. He is in custody; charges against him are pending. Both kids were doing well at school; she's a champion soccer player, her dad the coach. The whole school community is devastated. My heart is breaking. I held them as babies (in fact, was at the hospital hours after she was born), ran after them as toddlers, have enjoyed seeing them grow up, and loved their bear hugs: Hi Mimi, how are you? Last year when we were in Texas in January, we had flooding in the basement at Carlton Gardens. Alex called, not knowing what to do. Both kids dropped everything to come and help, and, in fact, big brother, got right to the clogged drain and then as the water receded he helped get things up off the floor. How dearly I love those kids. Everything we do down here, every mile of biking, every walk on the beach, every meal, is clouded by the tragedy back home. Carlton and Kayla have been at the hospital almost around the clock, Carlton having canceled a work-related trip to California. There's nothing we could do if we returned home, though we will be leaving a day early, heading back first thing in the morning.