total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Terrie Alvarez

On November 9, 1969, I was six months pregnant, and Phillip’s boss asked him to come in to work for a few hours. I fortunately had made plans for a sitter to take care of Deanna. I came home from work, and Phillip was not home, which was strange since I had the car (we only had one car). I tried to call Sherwin Williams to see if, perhaps, he had worked longer hours, but the line was always busy, and I could not get through. A short time later, as I was getting my daughter ready to drive to Sherwin Williams, I heard a knock on the door and opened it to find a police officer and another gentleman who introduced himself as a Catholic priest. The officer told me there had been an accident, and I remember telling him that this could not be since I had the car. They finally told me that Phillip had been shot during an armed robbery and had died on the way to the hospital. All I remember is that I wanted to run as fast as I could because, if I ran, this did not happen. The next few days were a blur.

After the funeral, I ended up moving back to Maine, where my family was until my son was born. That was the hardest time of my life. I needed to work, but having a sitter for two children would take my entire paycheck. When my son was 18 months old, I moved back to Maryland, since the job prospects and salaries were better than those in Maine. My son had a very hard time not knowing his father. When other children would ask him where his father was, he would tell them that his parents were divorced. Later on, he told me that if he told them his dad died, he would have to say how he died, and that was too painful for him.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.