on a cold dark night, … oh wait, that’s another song. But it was 10 years ago, and it was night time. I haven’t shared this story before, but now seems as good a time as any.
The real story begins a few days earlier. Sheryl and I were visiting relatives in Kansas, and she was going to fly back to California while I drove back with our daughter Lisa, who was moving back to San Jose. A couple of days before Sheryl’s departure, while we were out at Kanopolis Lake with Lisa, Sheryl’s mom, and Aunt Adelia, I had a strong feeling that I wanted Sheryl to ride back with me and Lisa, instead of flying by herself.
And so it came to pass that we took off one afternoon, headed west, on the way home. We stopped in Colorado the first night and the next morning Sheryl called in to let her boss know about the change in plans.
We had a blast spending most of the day acting as tourists in southern Colorado, first at the Royal Gorge, and then at a wonderful place Lisa knew about, Seven Falls, a beautiful waterfall and park in Colorado Springs.
We ended up spending that night in Wyoming, and thought we’d likely stop one last time, around Reno or Lake Tahoe, before heading home. We did notice some sundogs late that afternoon while driving through northern Colorado, and we did spy a long freight train, thought it wasn’t north bound and it wasn’t raining.
The next day, as we approached the Nevada/California border, I just had a strong feeling I wanted to push on home that day. I like driving, and wasn’t tired, so it wasn’t a big deal. We stopped briefly at Lisa’s request, and then headed on home. I remember not listening to the radio at all during the drive; almost as if I just didn’t want hear any bad news, that if I didn’t hear it, it hadn’t happened.
And early the next morning, as we lay sleeping, still exhausted from our long drive home, the phone rang. Sheryl answered it and when she cried out: “Jerry’s dead?!”, I thought she meant her boss.
After a little bit I went and played “Pain in my Heart” on the stereo. And was glad that we were together when we heard the news.