I started dating my first husband when I was sixteen. I got pregnant with his child around my seventeenth birthday. He stood by my side and turned into a wonderful father who provided very well for us. We bought a house when our son was one eighteen months old and got married the following summer. We were great together. We were the couple that was going to make it; we knew it and so did all of our friends. We had everything we could ever want. Right after we got married, we conceived our second child. This is where the fairy tale ends.
Jan 5, 2002 will forever be the day that changed me and my life. I was at work in my mother’s restaurant and my dad told me he was tearing down a building on his farm that day and he wanted Jason to help. He wanted me to call him. I kept telling my dad to call him himself, but I finally gave in and called Jason and asked him to help my dad. He came to the restaurant with my son. They were both going to go to the farm, but my son was sick. I asked him if he wanted to go to the farm and he said no (he always wanted to go there so this surprised my husband and I). We ended up leaving him with my mom. While my husband was in the restaurant, my sister and her husband came in. I told my brother-in-law that he should go down to the farm to help too. I told my husband that he needed to get down to the farm and I shooed him out the door; I’m not even sure if I kissed him goodbye.
A few hours later, we got a call into the restaurant. At first I was angry that the other employee was talking on the phone while we were busy. Then she said someone was asking if there were any other people with my dad’s name in the small town. He said it had just came over the scanner that they were sending ambulances. I went to the pay phone and called the farm. The number was busy. I kept working, going back and forth to the pay phone. Then someone came over and told me that I needed to go talk to my mom right away. While walking over there, I thought to myself that Jason is dead (I always had this weird feeling that he was going to die). My mom said she did not know much but that we had to get to the farm. A friend drove us and the whole way I kept thinking that if my brother in law dies, my sister will never forgive me for telling him to go. When we got within a couple of miles we saw a helicopter and then we passed an ambulance. My mom said “That’s good. They don’t have there lights on.” I said they don’t use lights if the person is not alive. We got there and there was a helicopter. They wouldn’t let us near the place. The EMTs were keeping us away and then one my mom knew came up and told mom that dad was pretty bad but he was talking and stuff. Then I asked about Jason and she said he was fine, that she talked to him, then I asked about my brother-in-law and my cousin (who was also there) and she said I’m sorry, I might be getting the names mixed up (they all start with the letter J). Finally someone took us to my cousin and he looked at me and just started crying. I asked if my husband was going to make it and he just gave me a hug.
Later we found out that that my dad and Jason were both taken to the same hospital by helicopter. My aunt drove us. It was over an hour drive and we really had no information. When we got to the hospital, they had no record of Jason, but they did for dad. Eventually they figured out that their “John Doe” was my husband. He didn’t have his wallet on him.
They took my mom and I into this little room where they tried explaining things to us. It is all still such a blur. They told me that I had to decide whether to operate. They asked if we ever talked about things like that. Yeah, we had but that was thinking about us being old not when he was only 24. I asked if I could wait for his parents to get there to decide (they were flying in on a three hour flight). They said there wasn’t time. They told me that the surgery would probably be unsuccessful and that if he lived he would be like the guy from One Flew Over the Coo-Coos Nest (their words). I said just go for it. I could not be responsible for his death. I kept asking to see him and they said no. Later, they came out to tell me that they could not start surgery because he had again become unstable. I pleaded for them to let me see him. I said if I could at least just hold his hand. Finally, after begging the chaplain enough, he finally convinced the nurses to let me go in. They had a towel over him from the nose up. A brick had basically taken out a chunk of his head. I wasn’t in there very long before I started to get nauseous. I left. A little later, they told me that if I wanted to be with him I needed to go back in there (at that point all hope was gone). I spent the next hour or so (I really have no recollection of time) telling him I would raise his babies; I held his hand; I laid my head on his body; I cried; I sang songs; I didn’t know what to do. I sang “You’ll Always be my Baby” and just told him that I could do it all (sometimes I think if I had told him i couldn’t live without him maybe he would have stayed alive, yet I know that it wouldn’t have changed things).
I was the only one with him when he passed, but people started coming shortly after. I spent many more hours at the hospital in a numb state watching everyone cry. I had to face his parents knowing that they had just lost their baby boy. My brother-in-law and sister came after he was released from the hospital he was at. They ended up taking me home hours later. My sister cannot drive well and it was beginning to snow. I told jokes the whole way home trying to keep her from crying, because I was afraid that she would have an accident.
I slept in my parents bed that night holding my son. The next morning I had to tell him that his daddy had joined the angels. The next days were spent around so many people yet I felt so alone without my partner there.