Where Were You On October 2, 1998?


Where were you on October 2, 1998?

You probably have no clue.  If you racked your brain trying to remember, you probably would not be able to recall.   But, if I asked you where you were on other significant days in history, chances are you’d probably not only recall where you were, but what you were doing and who you were with.

Where were you September 11th, 2001?  Where were you when Kennedy got shot?  Or, when Pearl Harbor got bombed?  Some of you may recall where you were when Nixon resigned.  Or, when John Lennon got shot.  Or, when Elvis died.

These significant days in history act as markers on the timeline of our lives.  Because they were so catastrophic and life altering, we can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing in that specific moment in time.

We can also recall our specific whereabouts in our times of personal crisis and joy.  When a baby is born.  When a loved one dies.  When a best friend calls us up and tells us they are getting married.

October 2, 1998 – a significant day in my life.

You may not recall where you exactly were then, but I know exactly where I was.  That was the day my Dad lost his battle with Cancer.  I was with him.  My Mom and one of my two Brothers were there, too.  16 years ago today.  (That’s so hard to believe!!) I was sitting on the side of his bed holding his hand.  It was the first time I was with someone when they took their last breath.  It was the first time I held someones hand and felt them go completely still and feel their life end.  It was surreal.  And sad.  And at the moment, something I could not wrap my brain around.  Even tho I knew he was near the end of his life, nothing quite prepares you for that moment when your parent actually passes away.  Breathing in life one moment – and in the next instance, complete stillness.  Their soul moving towards Heaven.  It was a powerful moment in my life and a precise moment on my personal timeline where I will always remember where I was and what I was doing.

I’ve lost both of my parents now.  My Dad 16 years ago and my Mom more recently – just 8 months ago.  February 14th – Valentines Day 2014.  I did not have the privilege to be with her and tell her goodbye when her time to leave this earth arrived.  But I’m confident that she knew exactly how I felt and how much I loved and respected her.  I’m confident that she knew how much all of my siblings loved her.

While I’m still adjusting to life without my Mom, the old saying really is true – “Time Heals All Wounds.”  You start to come out of the fog gradually and learn to smile and laugh again.

My Dad was Irish.  He was hardworking and funny and sentimental.  He liked sports, Notre Dame and beer.  He passed his sense of humor and hard work ethic on to all of us.  Thanks Dad!!  When my brothers and sisters and I get together, all we have to do is say one word to each other or give each other one look that was his and we all start laughing.  And we laugh long and hard.  And we remember him with fondness and joy and with the sentimentality that he unknowingly passed on to all of us.  Time heals all wounds.

We remember and speak of our personal experiences and that helps to keep those collective memories of history and personal tragedy and triumph vivid and fresh.  And then, suddenly, 10 years have passed.  Or, 20.  Or, 50

I miss my Dad.  Especially today.  I miss my Mom, too.  I will never quite get used to them being gone – or not being able to pick up the phone to talk to them.  And, I’ll never get used to no longer being able to just get in the car to take a road trip to see them.  But I am grateful for two such loving, selfless parents who showered me with unconditional love.  I’m grateful for the memories of their laughter and smiles.  And kindness.

When was YOUR October 2, 1998??  We all have them.

The good new is, Time Heals all Wounds.


93 thoughts on “Where Were You On October 2, 1998?

    1. Forgive me, Writing to Freedom, I can’t figure out how to comment, so I’m replying to yours. (Sorry to you, Margber, too!)
      I loved this post and got here from @BrewsAndViews
      December 23, 2013 was that day for me. Thanks for inspiring me to blog about it. @Domorewithles

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nancy

    There are times when I am so glad I have you to put into words what the rest of us don’t or can’t. Then again, your words are endearing enough that my heart breaks all over again……..temporarily, because, yes, time does begin (not totally) to heal all wounds. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s a lovely tribute. Yes, it is true that time heals but some of the pain still remains. Not as sharp, perhaps, but still there. Fortunately, over time, the fond memories get a chance to take root if we let them.In time, just as strong plants push back the weeds they will shove aside the pain and leave only recollections of the good times, the lessons and the love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. July 31,1983. that was MY October 2, 1998. Huge day in my life, huge loss. That was the day my mom lost her fight against cancer. Sigh. 31 years ago! You know how it is Margaret. And yes, time does heal. (Thank goodness!) That’s a beautiful picture of your folks~ thanks for sharing !


  4. Margaret. I totally identify with the “October 2, 1998” experience; there is no other like that one. I was not at my mother’s bedside when she went to glory; it was a very painful experience when I learned of her suffering and death. But her death healed some wounds in our family, bringing us together, some of us still sticking together. I must write about this in my blog…You’ve given me something wonderful to remember and share. Bottom line: I still miss her after 28 years. There are truly times in my life at 66 years of age that I still want my mommy…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lucy

    I lost my dad November 23rd 1993 at the young age of 61, doesn’t feel like 22 years ago, I still talk to his picture,… letting him know how well we are doing, that he now has 5 greatgrandkids etc. thanks for reminding me to take a step back and reflect on all the good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Small World – I was born and raised in South Bend and also lived a mile from Notre Dame. I lived there up until the time I went to college. Both of my parents worked at Notre Dame. : ) Such a small world.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bernice Nelson

    My Oct 1998 was in Feb 1997 when I lost one of the most amazing woman, my grandmother. Loss of beautiful souls are always missed. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂


  7. Patti Kraai

    Thank you for saying the words for me. My dad Oct. 13, 1981 and my Mom Oct. 6, 1989, both younger than I am now. I am an only child and I too held my mom’s hand as she took her last breath. My life has never been the same for all the reasons you mentioned. But time is the great healer and the love never dies as it is passed down through the generations. God is good. xo


  8. We lost my ND lovin’, beer drinkin’, fun-lovin’ father-in-law on October 2, 2011. He also fought cancer . . . hmm. His boys continue the annual pilgrimage to South Bend each October – they will be there next weekend – go Irish!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful words. I love the picture of your parents. They look so happy. My date is a whole month – November 2008. Mum died on the 1st and dad on the 24th. I actually don’t remember much about the end of that year at all – it was very surreal at the time – but I do remember those two dates vividly. I’ll never stop missing them, but I have them in my heart and in my memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderfully heartfelt post. I remember October 1998, if not the 2nd because I was preparing to live a dream, by travelling somewhere I’d always wanted to go, so the year holds fond memories for me. But, of all dates July 12th is a poignant one, as I lost my father, and he’s much missed. 🙂


  11. Margaret, I just lost my Mom summer before last. I lost my Dad 6 years ago , the day before Mother’s Day. I don’t think life will ever be the same. I was very close to them both, so I can truly empathize. I’ve written poetic tributes to them both. thank you for come by and reading my latest. I’ll look forward to read more of yours. Blessings, Debbie


  12. Le Beauty Type

    This was lovely, your way of writing is amazing and you may not believe me when I say I cried by reading this, it was such a lovely heartfelt post. x


  13. Stuart & Alisons Bucket List Adventures

    Wow, what a powerful piece, you have an exceptional way with words. I know your pain, I lost my dad many years ago. All I can say is you will have the great memories stay with you for life.


  14. So beautiful, this made my eyes water up. My October 2, 1998 was actually on October 12th, 1983. It was a Thursday and started out so nicely. The kids were chasing each other around our new pool, behind our new home of only six days. And then my 4-year old son slipped in a puddle and fell into the pool. Everything I knew changed in the next 60 seconds…there would be no photographs of him in first grade, or graduating college, or getting married, etc. So terribly sorry for your losses. I never had parents so I don’t know that hurt, and I hope to God you never know mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine the pain of losing a child. None of us can. I can not imagine anything more paralyzing in life. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story with me. God Bless You.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful tribute and I’m sorry for your losses. I’ve also had the blessed, yet bittersweet experience of helping to usher a loved one into eternity. Words can’t describe the finite nature of death, yet the infinite nature of the soul. In that moment you know that they are phsyically no more, but spiritually alive. It makes me wonder how anyone can not believe in God. Thanks for sharing and helping me to take a moment to remember my own October 2, 1998.


  16. disconcerted72

    Well, October 2, 1998 does have some significance to me, but to mention it would be a trivialization of your date marker. I can only imagine what it would be like to lose one parent, let alone both, but I think this post demonstrates the honor you have for them.

    And, unfortunately, I do have a tragic date-marker for my family – January 15, 2000 marks the suicide of my little brother. And that day will forever be seared into my mind and heart.

    But one thing about “Time Healing All Wounds” that is rarely mentioned is that some wounds have long lasting scars.

    I feel…hmmm…solemn reading this. But, by being a parent myself, I can only believe that your parents would be proud of you and the honor you bestow upon them.


    1. Some scars are deeper than others. Im so, so sorry for your loss. There are never any good words when a tragedy like the one you lived through, occurs. I can not imagine the pain you went through.

      Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Just Make It Count | Brews and Views

  18. I live three continents away from my parents, and I am always afraid I may not get to see them before something happens. I can’t grasp what you went through but the way you phrased your emotions was so genuine and real that I felt alongside you. I smiled when you mentioned your dad’s sense of humour. And there was an aching in my heart when you talked about your mum’s passing. Thank you for reminding me to call them tonight, to tell them that I love them on the phone, and not on Whatsapp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Im sp glad that you enjoyed it. I just find the best writing is writing that comes from the heart. My heart is filled with my parents and especially, my mom, lately. Thanks for reading.


      1. I feel the very same way. Writing from the heart is the easiest for me. Nothing forced. I’m blessed that almost everyone in my family writes. My brother, my maternal grandfather and, yes, my mother 🙂 take care.


    1. My mom was my biggest inspiration for writing. She had been encouraging me to write for a long time. She was alive and able to read my blog for the first year. I feel so blessed for that. She was the motivation behind my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. jaznajalil

    I dread MY October 2nd. I think about it every time I hear of someone dying. A parent, child or loved one pass away. I am petrified. But I know, my DAY shall come too. This is a sort of pain that is inescapable. Inevitable. It is part of the human cycle. I hope my October 2nd is far, far away in the future…

    Lovely post Margaret!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Where Were You On October 2, 1998? | Being Margaret

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