I have found the best motivational speech someone can give me usually starts with, “you can’t!” I believe there is nothing I cannot do aside from surgery on anyone. I thought I enjoyed a challenge. This current one, not so much, but I am doing my best. If someone had asked me three years ago if I could survive losing a child, I could not see how it could be part of my future. I have said it, and heard so many people say they could not bare losing a child. Yet, here I am, doing what I thought I couldn’t do…
We all need to know what moves us and motivates us to take that first step, and then the next. What makes me want to see tomorrow dealing with this tremendous loss? I can tell you emphatically, I still live for my children, living and not living! But, I do have to take it in steps. Another step forward means I can do another thing I didn’t think I could do. Last week, I requested the records of my son’s wreck. Baby steps. I am four months away from the three-year mark and two more of the boys on my son’s friends list have died. That is now my motivation, an opportunity to shed light on this tragedy to avoid more tragedies!
So, what will I do with this information? Well, first, I need to find the courage to open the file. It should be here today or tomorrow. The county actually called me personally and asked if they could refrain from sending certain photos, especially those of him. Remember, I have seen nothing from that night and did not get to see him after. I saw my son walk away from the house that night to go fishing and the next time I saw him, he was in an urn. Since he was identified through dental records, his dad and I did not have any chance, and that could have been my son’s gift to us. I don’t want the image of him afterwards to be what I see when I close my eyes at night, but I know he left a message that needs to be shared.
I have been asked if I would be willing to speak at a group of DUI offenders. I most certainly will, but I need a strong message as to what they risk every time they get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t. I am living proof of that aftermath! And, now, two more families are members in this unwanted club of parents who have lost a child, and this is why! This is why I need to take this next step!
The motivation to stop these young adults from an early departure is allowing me to take the step I didn’t think I could take. It is a step that may be parceled out a little at a time. This is not something I want to do. This is something I need to do! Big difference. I would so rather have the angelic image of my son in my brain, and I am well aware the information I will view in these files will not come close to a heavenly image. I have faith that the message he is going to provide will outweigh the need for me to not see this file. If you knew my son, you know he fought for the underdog and was always willing to lend a hand. I know that is still the case!
So, as I take this step, please keep me in your prayers. I believe in their power and know they will allow me to do another thing I didn’t think I could do. I know this is a huge undertaking and will change me more than I think, but it is not about me. It’s about the message going forward and the need to shed light on this subject to stop others. We need to honor those young men we have lost and prevent their peers, as well as others, to leave their families and friends in a manner that can be prevented.
I see these steps in small doses: hold the file in my hands for a few days, or weeks; have my daughter (a nurse) review it first; view the file myself; pick a few things out that I know will help; let his girlfriend at the time of his death see what I want to use (she deserves not to be blindsided with this!); and put together a PowerPoint message. I write this like it is bing, bang, done. This could take awhile, I know that. One step at a time, and baby steps at that.
There is a message to provide. If it stops one person from dealing with this tragedy, it will be worth it, I am praying the message will be heard in a larger audience. Time will tell. Parents do not want to write their child’s obituary. It was, by far, one of the hardest things to write!! I am trying hard to keep others from writing this story! I know I will have hard times putting it together. I also know I need to do this. Someone once told me doing the right thing is not always doing the easy thing. I will struggle during this process, but I will be okay. I know it. I will keep pictures of my son as I remember him close for obvious reasons!! I still miss that kid and cry because he is gone, but I continue to smile because he was here!! My next post may seem quite different, but I appreciate the prayers and support!!
#babysteps #amessageleftbehind #gonebutnotforgotten #thedashinthemiddle