Thursday, February 19, 2009

Anniversaries

Today is two anniversaries.

Those of you who have been here since the beginning will remember hearing that my nephew was killed in a sledding accident. Today is the second anniversary of his death, which actually has two anniversaries for me, since that year the 19th was President's Day, so it's like there's a holiday anniversary and a regular, dated one. He was on his family's property, and went sliding on a hill that he had been on since he was a child. The difference was that there had been an ice storm, and the slope was so slick that he lost control and went into the trees. He suffered massive internal injuries, but was awake enough to call the house on his cell phone and have his twin sister and my SIL come and find him. It took a rescue crew with ropes and pulleys to get him up the hill, but even if they had gotten to him immediately, it wouldn't have helped. His spleen, liver, and several other internal organs had been ruptured. He was awake until he reached the top of the hill, just as his father got there after racing to the scene from his work, and died in his mother's arms. He would be eighteen today, in college like his sister or in the air force. He wanted to be a pilot. I can only imagine how his life would have turned out. He was a rare, wonderful boy who was loving and gentle with his little cousins, and delighted in teaching them how to play Santa, bouncing with them on a trampoline, and taking them on walks. I miss him every day, although finally, after two years, it has receded into a more manageable feeling. Last year I was sobbing; this year I guess I've accepted it as reality, and so have been able to frame it a little differently in my own mind. I try to imagine him swimming in heaven with all the dogs that have gone before and after him, in a giant pond like the one on his family's property, laughing and splashing. I wish our children could have grown up with him, and I fervently hope that Patrick will be able to remember his cousin. Josie was older, and I know she won't forget what he was like when he was alive, but I'm hoping that Patrick is able to retain some memory of Ryan other than what he sees in photos, and that he's 'the one who died'.

One year ago today, we found out that we would be forced to move from our house across town by the county, who is planning on tearing it down and making a road in its place. Hooray for progress, I suppose. I honestly believe that Ryan sent them to us, because now that all is said and done, we are in a much better home, in a much better situation, and had it not happened then, we would still be in limbo like our old neighbors, who stalled and now are facing a governmental shortfall and probably a lot more red tape coupled with a much lower offer than the one we were made. We were very, very fortunate, and for it to all have started on that particular day, of all days, seems like more than coincidence to me. The phone literally rang as I was looking at photos of Ryan on our wall.

So much has changed in the past two years, and it breaks my heart that Ryan's not here to see it. He has two new sisters. We lost both our dogs, one within weeks of his death. His twin is college, and is in a serious relationship with one of his best friends. We now live in a place that he never went to. That was the hardest part of leaving our old house; it was the last place that we had all been together as a family, for Patrick's birthday. I know he is always with us in our hearts, but how I wish I could hug him and tell him I love him, one more time.

We miss you.

12 comments:

LoriD said...

I don't think I'll ever forget the story of your nephew. I'm so sorry you have to have this sad anniversary.

Kristi said...

Times like this make me wish I was more eloquent. Sad anniversaries suck.

I'm glad everything has worked out so well in your new home.

AndreAnna said...

Thinking of you and imagining your nephew splashing with your puppy; it brings a warm smile to my face to think of Heaven like that.

Chantal said...

What a tragic thing to have happened. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a cousin in a car accident, he was 17. I think about him, the way you think about Ryan, a lot. Hugs.

Kristin.... said...

Thinking of you today.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Thinking of you & saying a special prayer for Ryan and your family tonight.

Melissa said...

I did not know you all that long, so I never heard of this till now. I'm so sorry, it's terrible. Glad you are doing much better with it now, and this makes me feel better about my little problems. Kinda a reminder that worse can happen, thanks..kinda :)

Leightongirl said...

I read this last night with tears in my eyes for your dear nephew. May you find peace as the years go by.

Erin said...

Oh. It is all so unimaginable. I am so sorry for the grief you and your family must feel.

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

So very sad. Thinking of you and your family.

Stimey said...

This is such a sad story. I am so sorry your family had to go through this. I'm so sorry.

Elizabeth Channel said...

Such a sad story that makes me realize, yet again, how we should cherish every day.