September 3, 2006 - April 13, 2011
This is a story about the most tragic day of my life. A day that haunts me from the moment I wake up, relive it throughout the day, and try to force the pictures out of my mind when I go to sleep.
It was a gorgeous spring morning on April 13th2011. There is something about stepping outside at that time of year and noticing that the bird calls are a bit more exuberant, the air a little fresher…and that smell – the dampness from the morning dew mixing with the thawed soil and emerging green shoots. That day started out so wonderful, I went into my oldest daughter Kelsey’s room where my youngest was usually sleeping as well, cuddled up to her big sister like most mornings. Got my girls in the shower and all squeaky clean, lotion slathered on them and dressed. I can still feel my youngest daughter Sidney’s hair in my hands from french braiding it that morning. Things that morning, the things before the accident are so clear and vivid to me because those are the last moments I enjoyed as a family with my daughters.
We were all ready to go and we walked out the door I remember saying come on girls let’s load up. My 2 girls and I got in the truck, my oldest sits behind the passenger seat and my youngest sits behind the driver’s seat, we turned the ignition over, I was just about to put it in gear and I remember turning around and not seeing Sidney’s backpack in the truck. I looked at the clock 7:23 am I looked back at Sidney and said I will be right back I forgot your backpack. As I got out of the truck I heard my oldest daughter get out as well and said she forgot her phone inside. We walked in found our things and went back out to the truck I tossed Sidney’s backpack in the passenger seat, heard 2 doors shut and put the truck in reverse and backed up. That’s where my life fell to pieces. I heard my oldest daughter scream where is Sidney? (You have no idea the pain that swells inside every cell in my body when I remember that moment)
I stopped the truck and got out and that’s when I saw my baby girl lying on the ground. She was behind the truck when I backed up. I had no idea she got out when I did. There were so many times we forgot something and I would say I will be right back and go inside and get it and off we would go… she never got out.
I picked my baby girl up and she just felt different. My oldest daughter got out of the truck and came around to the driver side and said what is wrong with Sidney and I just told her we need to get to the Hospital, she was behind the truck, get in and let’s go. We got in and I told Kelsey to get her phone and call 911 but she couldn’t find it. She was so upset and scared for her sister. Sidney wouldn’t wake up, she wouldn’t open her eyes. I kept trying to open them and tell her to stay with me and to wake up, but in her eyes there was just no movement but I didn’t want to think she was completely gone. It’s so hard to relive that. We were driving down the dirt road and I was driving quite fast trying to get to the hospital quickly and a little over a mile away from our home we hit a fresh patch of gravel and wrecked the truck. When the truck came to a rest Sidney was still my lap and Kelsey was fine, thank the Lord. We had to crawl out of the windows that were now busted out and run about ¼ of a mile to the nearest house. Kelsey could run faster than me and she made it to the house first but no one was answering the door for her. I can still feel the weight of Sidney in my arms.
As I ran to get to that house I remember yelling to Kelsey to just kick the window in and find their phone and call 911. Finally, someone answered the door.
This morning weighs on me every day and it’s painful to walk through the stages of the morning on paper. They called 911 for me and I asked the lady to call my mom and tell her to come and help me. I then gave her the number to my dad at work to tell him that Sidney is hurt and to come help me as well, but he couldn’t understand the lady and she handed me the phone and the sound in my dad’s voice was of just utter despair and he thought this was not real. I told him to leave work and come because Sidney is dying. I hung up the phone. There was no real change in my daughter. The lady of the home brought be a red felt blanket and I have been trained in CPR so I laid Sidney down on the porch on top of the blanket and gave her CPR and was shocked when blood came pouring into my mouth from hers.
She was limp and I felt like I was dying also. I wrapped Sidney in the blanket and Sidney’s big sister and I held her for what seemed like forever in this strange peace of knowing she had gone back home to be with God. My mom had made it there shortly after we had been holding and praying and we ran and got into her truck she backed out onto the dirt road to head to town to the Hospital about ½ a mile down the road we finally met the Ambulance. I jumped out of her truck still clinging on to my daughter and ran to the back of the ambulance and had to hand my daughter over to them and saying please save my baby, don’t let her die, if there is any hope save her. I saw them cutting her clothes off her and hooking her up to machines and as I watched for a moment crying, they shut the doors. I can still feel the sand of the dirt road clutched in my hands as I fell to the ground behind the ambulance praying. I just kept reciting psalms 23 over and over again. Begging God to let me have her back.
The ambulance drove away and my dad came up from behind me and put me in the back of the truck. He came in and said come on we need to get to the hospital to be with her. When we got to the hospital we were told they did everything they could and that she was gone. This didn’t sink in right away. It felt like I was on the outside looking in on all this tragedy and that I would wake up soon. But I didn’t.
The morning of April 13th 2011 I stepped foot onto a path I didn’t want… a journey grief, of seeing memories I treasure, but I can’t make more with her… walking by her bedroom she should be playing in, and her ashes as the only part of her physically I can hold onto.
This is a poem I wrote for my daughter:
God and my daughter have taught me many things. It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow, there can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm. For God made a beautiful little girl and chose my family to care, hold, take care of and love her from the day she was born. It’s that dash in between that I hold so dear to my heart that dash that is so small represents so very much, because life is made up of years that mean nothing and moments that mean it all. When I Pray and beg of God to please explain to me why, why he took my little girl and why I’m in pain and cry? He simply says to me, my sweet child I call all my children home. I put my arms around your Sidney that also belongs to me; I wiped a tear from your eye and said it’s simply meant to be. I told her to come with me. With tearful eyes I watched you as you held her close. Although I love you dearly I could not let her stay. You see I gave Sidney a purpose just as I have given you. She’s done her job so perfect and completed every task, I knew her first day, the middle ones and the last. So when I put my hand out and ask her to come with me, she did not hesitate for she knows she will see you again at the pearly gates. Just because you cannot see her no longer, Just as I, she is there to comfort you. She lays her head on your shoulder for she is happy, safe and carefree. She says, my mommy please don’t cry, I am where we all wish to be.
Hugs & Kisses and I love you more lil’ girl.Donate in honor of Sidney