It wasn't clear to her what she was going to do. She'd received the call a few horrible hours beforehand.
The car had skidded out of control on early morning black ice and rolled, killing the driver, her brother-in-law, and the front seat passenger, her twin sister.
Peggy had met David a few years previous at school. David taught art at a school for the deaf, where Peggy had taken her first job out of college teaching English. Despite then working and living in the deaf world, Peggy was in love. She and David were soon married.
Behind the door across from her was their son Jeffrey. Miraculously, but for scrapes, bruises and a broken wrist, he had survived. Her hands fumbled with her handbag, as she waited impatiently in the hallway.
She was dressed for Easter Mass. A resplendent pink dress, an exaggerated white pearl necklace. She'd come straight here without thinking about it, and now felt horribly overdressed, pretentious and ridiculous. Her makeup ran on her face, her hair was frizzing out. The day so far had been the worst she could remember.
She did not know sign language, and earlier, had tried speaking to the boy through an interpreter. When the gravity of the situation occurred to him, he let out this unearthly moan, unlike any noise she had ever heard. He turned away from them in the bed and said or did nothing else.
Here she was a few long minutes later, desperately trying to find the right thing to do, when her son nudged her.
He said quietly, "He's texting me."
"Texting you?" , she replied, woken up from her worried mind.
Of course, they were texting! The language of any kid under fifteen these days is texting or DM's. Why hasn't she thought of that? 'Pull your head out, Margery,' she thought to herself.
"Yeah, he's worried you are angry with him."
"Oh my gosh, honey, what for?"
"Here…" , he said, handing her the phone.
"I am afraid Aunty is upset with me for crying." the text read.
"Oh my dear, no," she said outloud. "Let's go in and talk to him together. Would you type for me?"
Her son nodded and they got up and opened the door to Jeffery's room. He had sat up in bed, his face lit up as they entered.
"Tell him that we love him and would never be angry with him. That we are here to help him, to take care of him."
The two boys looked at each other and tapped their phones.
Her son showed him his screen.
"I don't know what to do. What do I do?"
She pulled a chair up close to his bed.
"We take care of each other," she said softly, letting her son transcribe. "This is a horrible thing, but we'll take care of each other."
She reached out and gently touched his face. He held her hand for a moment and then let out a sudden giggle.
Looking down at his phone, smiling, he began furiously tapping. Giggling again, he showed her his words.
"Mama never wore pink because she said you always wore it so much better. She was right."