Monday, April 9, 2012




I saw a figure walking ahead on the side of the highway, beginning the walk up the hill along... highway 56. All through the years I'd been afraid of this stretch of highway, never knowing 'why'.

There was never a time I drove up or down this hill without feeling unease. That unease lasted until...

One day Skip and I were driving by the post office in the small town of Franklinton. We heard siren after siren going off, we saw the firetruck and rescue vehicles rushing down the street under the stoplight toward ... highway 56.

I remarked to Skip that 'something really bad has happened, there must be a wreck'. I said a prayer inside as I always do when I hear a siren... I know how it feels to be inside the rescue unit racing to the hospital... I was the life being saved.

Maybe alot of people said prayers 'for me'... when they heard the siren. I'd like to think that... I know my prayers are always 'there' when I hear one.

We had to go in that general direction... rescue vehicles passed us on the way. I remember thinking 'oh my God, I 'know something really bad has happened'. How little did I know at that time....

We drove on highway 56 until we got to a road at the bottom of 'that hill'... it turned to the left. As we turned there, we looked up at the top of the hill... we saw that 'something bad, indeed'... had really happened.

There was a white car on that hill... it appeared to have been in a wreck... there was alot of commotion. There was a ... log truck... something bad, something bad happened.... up there.

I'm glad to this day we didn't drive up closer to that.... wreck. Oh my God.... I'm so thankful Skip turned to the left. I did feel a 'pull' to go up there... I'm glad Skip turned before I told him.

This was on January 3rd, 2005... we were on the way to the home we'd just moved to... actually all we had was our Pups, ourselves and the few things that were given to us. Our home had just burned down on December 28, 2004... we lost everything. People were helping us... how kind they were. I couldn't believe the kindness that was shown to us.

Back to that fateful day... that white car in the middle of the highway... people rushing around it... flashing red lights, blue lights... still stands out in my mind.

We drove on not knowing... if I had known... no one could have kept me away.

Later that evening we went back to the charred remains of 'our home'... trying to savage any and everything we could. People were stopping and picking up things to take with them as they left. I couldn't believe the things they did... I never knew people stole from a home when people were trying to find things that meant something to them. I learned something new, something I'd never thought about doing.

While we were there... Ms Nancy drove up on her white car ... it was alot like my cousin, Sylvia's car. She seemed different, I sensed she had something to tell me, yet didn't want to tell me. She didn't want me to hear it from anybody else.

I was already in a deep shock from losing everything... what she had to tell me only made me go deeper. I stood there, tears streaming down my face looking at Ms Nancy. 'No! Not Sylvia! No!' I began crying...

Earlier when Sylvia's husband had called to say Sylvia wasn't home yet, he asked was she there with us? He knew she was helping us. She wasn't.

On that hill that I'd always felt 'afraid' of through the years... the something 'I was afraid of'... happened. I was always afraid for myself... but, it wasn't me it happened to... it was Sylvia. It was awful, so awful.

She had passed a car, met a logging truck, there was a head-on crash. She died instantly. At this moment, I cry inside for her....

She had been coming to us, comforting us, helping us after the housefire. She gave us $500 in one hundred dollar bills from her and her husband. She had sat at 'our new home' in the rocking chair that was there... talking, even crying about some things she was worried about.

I sat on the carpet looking up at her. We made the promise 'we'll always be close no matter what for the rest of our lives'. We both 'knew' in 'our family'.... no relationship ever lasted. Someone would make sure to destroy one if they saw it. I don't know of any permanent relationships in my 'family'.

Sylvia and I had tried to be close a year or so before that... we had an aunt who couldn't stand that... not at all. Before we knew it... we didn't like or trust each other. That was the end of that ...until that day we sat there and promised that 'no matter what we'd be close ...for the rest of our lives'. Our promise was kept for 2 1/2 days................................ we were close for the rest of our lives when she was taken away from life.

There is something that I try not to think about that happened that evening... I feel sick, panicky inside when I do. I will write about it, I have to. I know other people have experienced awful things such as this...........

We went to our friend's garage/home. On his wrecker sat Sylvia's white car... light was shining down on it from the nightlight. We walked to it, stood there... something was dripping from the car... glistening in that nightlight.

I thought it was oil, gas .... I could 'smell' the 'wreck smell'... when I worked at the hospital... I learned that smell from wrecks when patients were brought in. I recognized it .... here.

There was 'stuff' dripping down onto the floor of the flatbed on the wrecker truck. When I realized what it was, I almost went to my knees. I couldn't think past that... I can't think past that .... now. It does something to me.

Something 'really bad happened on that hill'... I was always afraid of that hill... I was afraid for me... I was always careful on 'that hill'.

That figure sure looks familiar. Why... I believe it is my brother, I thought. Rick-Rick! He was walking fast as was his way of walking. I was smiling when I stopped, let the window down on the passenger side.

Get in, I told him, I'll take you home. Why in the world are you walking in this heat? He'd been helping a friend, Albert, he told me. Albert offered to bring him home, but... he told him he'd walk. I was so glad I saw him.

Actually... the reason I saw him that evening... that fateful evening is because I'd been home thinking about Sylvia's death. It was bothering me so much that I couldn't stay at home with all those thoughts in my mind (later I came to believe it 'was Sylvia' telling me to go.. go.. go!).

I got in my Expedition and began driving... of course, I went to the highway that Sylvia's wreck was on.... at the bottom of that hill was ... Rick-Rick. He was walking up that hill toward the spot Sylvia 'left this world' at........ I know he was thinking about Sylvia as he was nearing the spot she died at.

Rick-Rick got in my truck, grinning as was his way! He looked over at me sideways smiling with those blue eyes of his. He was glad to see me! Instead of taking him straight home, Rick-Rick asked me to take him to a woman's house not far from where he lived. He'd been painting for her, and he had to pick up a check from her.

I took Ricky there, he went inside. When he came out again, the lady was with him... they walked to me. Rick-Rick introduced me as his sister... for some reason he seemed so proud to introduce me... I look back at that 'wondering why?' He made me feel special. The lady was all smiles, I smiled back.

I took Ricky to the bank. I asked Ricky if he'd like to eat something, I was treating. We went to Wendy's... he ordered his food, I ordered mine, I paid for both. We went to a table and sat down to eat.

Ricky became agitated by the minute as we sat there... while we sat there... I saw something that I'd come to dread seeing through the years... I didn't want to 'see that'.

Ricky looked at me while talking about Robin, a woman he wanted to marry. He'd been constantly dialing her number... she wouldn't answer him. He was becoming more upset by the minute.

I watched his face closely and he looked away from me. I saw it... oh my God.. it was on my brother Rick-Rick's face. I was so afraid for him. How can that be, how can that be?

As he looked off from me... I saw for a moment 'that soft, velvety gray color' on his face. I had to look away... because I didn't want to see it... I looked back and it was still there. I felt my heart begin to beat faster, I was afraid for Ricky. I couldn't put my finger on 'why'.

Ricky asked me if we could just go now... his head was hurting, he just wanted to lay down. I took him home, got out and hugged him... I told him I loved him. Rick-Rick told me he loved me, too. He went inside to lay down.

I talked to his ex-wife who was living there, and my mother's husband for a few minutes before leaving. I walked back to Rick-Rick's room... I could see him through the crack in the door... he was laying face-down on his arms. I didn't bother him. That was the very last time............ I ever saw my brother again.

That night, he left there walking ... after sitting out on the deck there. I think his ex-wife fussed at him because she wanted to lock the door... either for him to come inside or to just go. He left.

That night he was sitting at a 'friend's' house... and just died. His heart stopped. My brother lost his struggle... with drug addiction.

I never saw my brother again. His body was taken to Chapel Hill to be autopsied. It was weeks before he was brought back to a local funeral home.

That evening when such overwhelming grief for Sylvia... 'pushed me out of the house into my Expedition'......... to drive to the hill we now call 'Sylvia's Hill'............. I feel 'Sylvia was telling me to go, go, go'.

I wouldn't have been out that evening... I wouldn't have seen my brother that last evening... he died that night. I 'feel' Sylvia somehow... reached back to me. Go, Gloria, go!

'That hill'... the hill that always made me feel unease through the years... no longer affects me like that now. I talk to Skip about this from time to time. He always says 'you were always afraid of that hill'. Now... I tell him I never feel that fear anymore... the worst.... happened.

Strangely enough, as a child I was told about some family members getting killed on that hill... I can't remember whether they were walking or in a vehicle now... it was before I was born.

I wonder if that hill is haunted? I wonder if 'down the road' more of 'my family members' will ever 'feel' what I felt about that hill? Be affected like I was? You know family members like the family members killed there that was 'before'... me.

I do believe in messages from 'the other side'... I would have never seen my brother that evening... I 'know' Sylvia was somehow responsible for the grief that wouldn't let me be still that evening...

I couldn't stay there in one place with it... it 'was driving' me..... to that ... haunted hill.... so, I could see my brother, Rick-Rick... for the last time.









  1. I notice after Sylvia died that double yellow lines are now on the "hill". Those lines should have been there all along. It was so sad about Sylvia and your brother. Seems like you and your family go through holy terror so much. Hopefully things will be better now for all. We have to look forward and pray the future will be different in many good ways! Love, Ms. Nancy

    1. Thank-you, Ms Nancy. Sitting here I read again what I have written... my heart is full of tears when I think of Rick-Rick.... Sylvia. It's just so strange she died there on the top of that hill... it's so strange that grief inside me over her... pushed me out of the house to see my brother at the bottom... of that hill... that was my last time seeing him. Everytime I drive there... at the bottom I think of Ricky... at the top I think of Sylvia. Life is strange... sometimes it really hurts so bad... but, we know... life goes on, we do the best we can. Ms Nancy, you were there then.... Love, Gloria