We got home from our once-a-year family vacation at the end of June and it has just been disaster after disaster. I don’t know how it started but getting off the airport parking lot shuttle to find a flat tire on our truck was not the business. It was hot, we were all tired and hungry from traveling all day. After Chris and Ty powered through changing the tire out, we found ourselves stuck in LA traffic for two hours and one dose of our truck’s check engine light coming on. But I maintained, I was positive.
Only two aunts have my number. My mama’s sisters. They mostly text me so when my phone woke me up and I saw Auntie Lulu on my screen, I immediately thought something happened to my grandpa but it was about my cousin Franklin. He died after being in a persistent vegetative state for over 14 years. He wasn’t born that way, they were on a family trip in Colorado when the high altitude triggered a heart condition that my Auntie Babe and Uncle Davy didn’t know about. After being in a coma for over a week, July 9th, 2000 was when my Auntie Babe pulled the plug and July 9th, 2014 is when he finally passed away. It weighed hard on me, the loss of her child. I knew he was finally at peace. I wanted to be okay with it but I wasn’t. Death is death is death. There is no easy button.
I texted my sons and Ty stopped by a few hours later to see how I was coping and to check on Omie (who just got over a fever). We talked about his dad officially giving him his dream car, him finding a job and touring colleges in the Fall… After he left, I even tweeted, “My oldest came over to hang with us old folks. It was the best thing to happen to me today.” A little after I tweeted that, he got into a bad car accident. Six blocks away from us. He called me but I couldn’t hear him, he couldn’t hear me and I thought he just butt-dialed me. And then I got the worst phone call of my life. His stepmom saying he was in a bad accident but he’s fine. I couldn’t run out of the door fast enough. Traffic couldn’t go fast enough. I couldn’t jump out of the truck fast enough. I couldn’t hug him fast enough. The car was already towed but his stepmom showed me pictures. How could our son survive that wreckage?
He started telling us the story and it was so upsetting. He was going straight on a green light, the guy was making a left and t-boned him. The impact was so hard that he pushed my son’s car all the way into the light pole and fire hydrant. The airbags are what saved Ty’s life, all four deployed, he couldn’t open the door, water was gushing in and he climbed out of the broken window. No one tried to pull him out. Thank God his instincts kicked in (and maybe some of that Eagle Scout training). Some people say the other driver tried to leave the scene but I don’t know. Why wouldn’t you check on our son? He told the cops my son was at fault. The car was totaled but material things can be replaced. The only thing that matters is our son is alive. When the adrenaline wore off he was in pain but that’s about it. He’s heartbroken over his car but who wouldn’t be.
And even crazier is Ty shares the same birthday as my cousin Franklin. I’d like to believe he saved him. I don’t know. It’s just something I’m telling myself so I can cope with that day. Our children should outlive us, that’s the way it should be. I’ve been re-evaluating everything – I’m not as close to my siblings and I need to work on that. I’m just as guilty. Life is too short. I don’t want my clock to stop without you know, living like I should.
Praying July eases up on us, it’s been rough.
The aftermath. Chevy makes some good airbags.