It’s hard to believe this week it’s been 10 years since my nephew, along with two of his friends, were killed in a car accident.
He had lived with my parents for years and as they get older, and their health is failing, I think they miss him more every day. I’m surprised that after 10 years, as I type this, tears are flowing.
We lived in Kentucky at the time and had a house in town and a house in the country. I had stayed in town that night (Friday) and Vince had stayed in the country. I told him I was staying up late quilting and I was going to sleep late. I told him . . do NOT call early or show up wanting breakfast before 8 a.m.
My phone rang at 5 a.m. and my first thought was . . Vince is in big trouble. It wasn’t Vince . . it was mom with the terrible news. I called Vince and he rushed into town to help me figure out how Chad and I could get to Louisiana as soon as possible.
Here’s a chilling but neat part of the story.
Vince called the airline to see about getting tickets for Chad and me and they needed more info about the accident/funeral to verify that we were truly in need of immediate flights. All I knew at that point was that there had been an accident. I didn’t know where, what time, how many cars were involved. Vince told me I had to get more info. I managed to get control of myself enough to call the Louisiana State Police office in Lake Charles. From all my years of working for attorneys, I remembered their phone number so when I picked up the phone and started dialing, Vince was surprised I knew the number. This wouldn’t happen again in a million years but the guy who answered said “Louisiana State Police Troop D. This is Sgt. Havens.” I said “Bruce?” And he said “Yes!” I told him who I was and that I needed more info so I could get a plane ticket home. His voice was quivering and he told me where the accident had happened, and what had happened. Then he told me if we could get the airline to call the police department, he would tell them everything they needed to know so Vince gave them the LSP number in Lake Charles, told them to talk to Bruce, and before long, we had our tickets. What were the chances that a guy I had gone to high school with, and whose wife I had been friends with in college, answered the phone at the police station?
The guy (Randy) who owned the tow truck service and actually made the call to pick up the car took it to his storage area for wrecked cars. He was a guy who had a gas station in our home town for many years and he and my dad had been good friends. He was so nice and helpful to dad as dad tried to get a few things out of the car. Chad and dad went out there several times and took pictures but I never could bring myself to look at them.
I ended up making a quilt for Randy and was so happy to find this fabric for the backing.
Daniel is missed terribly and I would love to see where he would be, what he would be doing, if he would have a family .. what life would be like for him and those of us who loved him.
I’m not sure how life goes on after losing a child or grandchild you’ve raised and I hope I never know but Mom, Dad, Pam . . I’m thinking about you all this week. It’s an anniversary no one ever wanted to have.