One night in May 2006, I woke up at midnight. For several months I had been having trouble staying asleep at night. Rachel was over a year old and sleeping through the night, but I had started waking up for no reason and lying in the bed for what seemed like hours before I could go back to sleep. I had counted on this phenomenon in my plans for the night.
I slipped out of bed and went to the front of the house. Earlier in the day, I had taken my luggage and packed my prettiest dresses and outfits up in my garment bag and packed underwear, shoes, and other essentials and hidden the suitcase in my wreck of a laundry room. I grabbed my bags and took them to the door into the garage. I went back to my bedroom, changed into khaki capri pants and a flowered top, and quickly packed my makeup, contact lenses, and other toiletries into a case. All the while, Bob was sleeping away, not having any idea what was going on around him.
I went to my personal stash of CD’s and grabbed all the Harry Connick, Jr. recordings. While I loved listening to him sing, my husband didn’t, and I thought he would be glad I got them out of the house where he would never have to listen to them again.
I grabbed some random items: my favorite quilt my grandmother had made me. My laptop. A double picture frame of with a photo of Bob when he was in college and a snapshot of me and him on our wedding day, standing beside the punch bowl at the reception. I took them to the door and grabbed up my suitcase as well. I got the keys to my husband’s red Chevrolet Blazer, turned off the door alarm, and went into the garage, locking the door behind me. I put everything in the vehicle in one fell swoop. I climbed in the driver’s seat, hit the garage door opener, backed out, and just as quickly hit the button to close the garage door as quickly as possible before the sound woke anyone up. I was running away from home to kill myself somewhere where nobody knew me, and my plans seemed airtight—as long as I could get out of the house without waking anyone up.