I never considered writing a blog. Just wasn’t something in my normal busy life that I every really gave much thought. But one day my life came to an abrupt, horrible stop. That was 1,199 days ago, the date on the calendar was January 15, 2013 and my family, which consist of my husband of 19 years, our oldest child, Hunter, age 18 and our youngest, Kaitlyn, age 15, was living a typical day in our lives.
It was a Tuesday, nothing out of the ordinary, wake up around 6am to start the day, make the coffee, kiss my hubby good bye as he went to work, woke up my kids and dropped them off at school and then to work myself. To be honest it was an exciting day as we were closing on the purchase of a new location for the company and that evening we would be going to watch our daughter play basketball. Yes we are one of those parents, we don’t miss a thing. I have to say how blessed we have been that we have always been able to work our schedules out to be there for school lunches, awards assemblies, sporting events and pretty much anything that our child was involved in.
Hunter got out of school at 12. He was a senior and had earned enough credits that he didn’t have to stay at school the whole day. So, I went and picked him up and we went through McDonalds for lunch. I still remember exactly what he got, but like most days I used my time in the car to make phone calls and contact people that I needed to talk to, so I spent most of our ride together on the phone. When I finally hung up the phone, Hunter said “finally,” LOL. The last 10 minutes of our car ride was pretty cool. We talked about future career choices, it was that time of year to apply for colleges and really be thinking about the future.
I dropped Hunter off at home so he could change his clothes for work and feed the animals. I went back to work and Hunter met me there about 30 minutes later. We were so excited to be moving into a bigger location so I told Hunter to go ahead and load up what he could in the car and start getting stuff over in the new shop. Even though we were moving to a bigger location we really were only moving 12 minutes from our current location.
So, Hunter put as much as he could in the car and another employee loaded up the truck. I walked out to say “good-bye,” I never let my kids leave without telling them “I love them and be safe,” but this time Hunter was already pulling out of the driveway. I guess he was just wanting to get this load of stuff over there and get back. Even with the move there was still work to be done so my husband and I hung around taking care of paper work that needed to be done. Never, ever, ever, ever, did I think seeing my car pull out of the driveway and catching a glimpse of the back of Hunters head and arm was the last time I would see my precious son ALIVE.
Approximately 3:30 that afternoon, maybe 2 hours since Hunter left, the guy that was in the truck came crashing into the office where I was and screaming lots of words but the only ones I heard was “Hunter’s dead.” WHAT?? WHAT???? No this is wrong – this is a terrible prank but this is not happening……No, No, No, No, No. That’s all I could think….NO. I ran outside waiting to see Hunter laughing at me, I know this would have been a terrible prank but I was praying that is all it was. As I ran outside there was no Hunter, I don’t know what I said to my husband but we jumped in the truck and headed in the direction of the new shop.
We only traveled 1 mile when we came up on a single car accident – there was many people around and I don’t think the truck stopped before we both jumped out. It looked bad, my son laid in the middle of this grassy field and the car was at rest several feet away. I really won’t go into the details any further, other than to say that the image I saw that day will never leave my mind, but my thoughts were “he’s gonna be ok.”
We beat the ambulance there so I had a few minutes to sit beside him and pray. Once the ambulance arrived we moved away and I watched them put my son in the back. This is a good sign – we are going to the hospital and he’s gonna be okay. Broken bones maybe but they will heal – Hunter’s gonna be ok. They let me ride up front so I jumped in. But we didn’t go anywhere – I kept thinking “let’s go,” we need to get the hospital.
The driver of the ambulance looked at me and asked me to get out for a minute. Of course, I did but I couldn’t understand what was happening. I remember walking back towards my husband and trying to take in the scene – Oh my God is this going to be that bad?? I remember thinking. At some point 2 EMT’s came up to me and my husband and said, “there’s nothing we can do, we are not going to the hospital” I didn’t understand when they asked me “where do you want us to take him”? What do you mean, I want you to take him where you can make him better, I remember thinking. But what they were meaning was a funeral home. What?
At that point, everything stopped and went dark. I remember falling to the ground in complete disbelief, I don’t know if words came out of my mouth or if it was just millions of thoughts going through my head. But this was it – my son was gone. In that moment my life stopped, the life I knew, the life I loved. Where do I go from here? What do I do? Can this be fixed? While my son’s lifeless body was transported to a funeral home, my husband and I had to pick ourselves up and go home.
You see, that’s it, there’s no going back. Once your last breath is breathed there is no turning back, there is no changing it. We are now grieving parents, for the rest of our lives we will have be in the terrible “club” of losing a child. How in the world will we survive this? Do we even want to? Losing a child is not something you get over, or move on from. It literally knocks you down further than you thought you could ever go and you have no idea what to do.
So, maybe starting this blog might help other parents walk this path and maybe help me continue to walk it too.