My apologies, but this one is about my Dad again this week. Yesterday was October 13th. An ordinary day for most, but for our family it was exactly 18 months since our Dad, Husband, Hero, Supporter, Friend and Papa died in a car accident. I wanted to share something I wrote just days following the funeral. I’ll warn you now that this is a re-cap of what happened on that day.
I talked to my Dad at 9am that day because we were supposed to meet at 11:30 at the library for Papa Day. I got to the library a few minutes late and tried to call him, of course he didn’t answer. I then started to hear gentle promptings: “He’s not coming, go to the house.” these promptings kept getting louder and louder until I finally left to go to my parent’s house. I thought for sure he had left his phone in the car and he was just sleeping on the couch. When I opened the garage and his car wasn’t in there, my heart sank. He would never be late or forget papa day…without a phone call as to why he was late and he wouldn’t answer his phone. My Mom was in Wisconsin on a business trip, so my younger brother and I spent the next couple of hours calling and driving to every possible place he could be. My brother is a fireman, so at a last ditch effort he called a detective to see what he could do. The detective knew there had been a fatal crash that morning so he called that police station, they confirmed it was him and already had 2 sheriff’s on the way to the house. The detective stopped them from coming, grabbed two of bobby’s friends from the station and came to tell us.
Once I heard the door bell and saw them on the front porch, I started crying, It was like a bad movie. The next words will be in my mind forever. “Bobby, Jen, we did find your dad. I am so very sorry to be here to tell you that he was killed in a very devastating car accident this morning.” Everything after is a blur, I sat on the couch sobbing while my brother had to call my Mom to tell her; I can still hear her screaming.
Apparently a truck lost control and tried to slam on his breaks, the back end started to jack knife and he swerved, unfortunately he lost total control and went straight into on coming traffic, straight into my Dad’s car. The only solace and blessing is my Dad NEVER saw this coming, his foot never hit the break, his hands weren’t gripping the steering wheel and when they did the autopsy his lungs were empty; so he never had a chance to even react. There was a police officer who raced to the scene seconds after my dad’s car stopped spinning and my Dad was already gone.
I would like to share what I spoke about at his funeral this past Saturday:
My Dad and I would always say that just because we are home all day doesn’t mean we aren’t busy, we are very busy but he would do anything for his family. Every morning he would drive to McDonald’s to get my Mom her diet coke, and then again in the afternoon if she wanted him too. He loved doing things for people, no matter how small.
For him, one of his favorite days of the week was Tuesday, because that was Papa Day. This all started about a year and a half ago, I was a new stay at home mom, just trying to keep kids entertained and doing something to get out of the house every day. When it started, we would meet at Leo’s for lunch and then we would go home. During the summer it went to meeting at the house for lunch and then he would sit in the pool with the kids in the afternoon. In September, it went to meeting at the library, then lunch at the house and then while Aiden was napping, him and Karlie would snuggle on the couch and watch anything she wanted. He recorded all of her favorite shows through the week so they could watch them together on Papa Day, they both loved it! A couple of weeks ago, Papa Day evolved even more and Karlie started spending the night.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that we started planning things we would do this summer for Papa Day, it will be hard, but I will keep our plans and do everything we talked about.
Spencer called my Dad and I the family planners, we were always arranging dinners or plans for something. We always looked forward to Friday night dinner going out somewhere and then Sundays have been family dinner for as long as I can remember. I can’t even remember the last time I cooked dinner on a Friday night. Looking back on the past week, I know we were all being prepared for this. We had more days spent with him than I can remember. The kids and I were over there almost every day, all day during spring break. His birthday was Saturday and then Sunday we had everyone at the house almost all day, that never happens. It was a perfect day and one I know we’ll all treasure the memories of that day in the weeks, months and years to come.
In my head I know that he is ok and far happier now than he was trapped in his pain ridden earthly body, now I just have to convince my heart of the same thing. For those who don’t know, he was involved in a car accident in September 2006 that left him retired far too early in his mind. He had spent the past 3 years living in pain all day, every day. His doctors told him about a month ago, that without more surgery there was nothing else they could do for his pain. They could not, but Heavenly Father could. It is now my duty to get back to him, he is paving the way for us and I won’t disappoint him. This week has been a giant test of faith, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that the things I have been taught my entire life are true, and now comes the hard part of living my life and moving forward every day. Someone told me this week that it will get easier, but this will never be easy.
We love you and miss you Dad and even though this is hard on us, we will be ok and will continue to make you proud.
18 months later. I still find it surreal that his spot in the garage is empty and a cemetery plot is full. I still find it surreal that I haven’t heard his voice. I still find it surreal I don’t have text messages from him in the middle of the day just because. But most of all, I still find it surreal that he is just gone.