Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Five Years and Counting...

Five years doesn't seem like so long a time, does it?

I mean, in the grand scheme of things, five years is nothing. It doesn't even register on the cosmic clock.

And yet, on Blake's fifth birthday, I can't seem to remember a time when he wasn't here.

And I am so truly grateful that he is.

Because a little bit over four years ago, I almost lost him and his brother.

December 19th, 2005, my wife and kids were on the way home from visiting me in the office where I worked at the time when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver.

I got the call at the office about twenty minutes after they left; they were hit about a half-mile away.

When I got to the scene of the accident and saw the giant wad of crumpled blue paper that used to be my car, I was certain that my family was dead.

Fortunately, they weren't, but that doesn't make the eternity of terror I felt in those few seconds any less real.

The rest of that night was spent in what I can only describe as a "vivid fog", where everything seemed hazy and unreal, yet stands out in my memory with chilling clarity.

My wife lay on the side of the road, surrounded by EMT and police, and her cries of agony in a darkness puncuated by flashing red and blue lights will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My oldest son, Hunter, who was four at the time, was strapped to a stretcher being loaded into the ambulance. His head was immobilized by a strap, but he turned his eyes to me and said, without a tear, "Dad, someone broke our car."

Blake was barely ten months old, and still buckled into his car seat. He wasn't crying, he was only whimpering in an "I don't like this" kind of way.

Amazingly, both boys suffered only mild abrasions and bruises. They were released from the hospital four hours later.

Their mother spent the next ten months in a wheelchair, but did dance again.

Now, four years later, the marraige is over.

But I still have my boys.

That night comes back to me every so often, especially on July 27th, Hunter's birthday, and today, February 10th.

The day Blake turns five.

Five years doesn't seem like so long a time, does it?

But it's a lifetime.

It's his lifetime, and I cherish each and every moment of it.

Happy birthday, Blake.

Daddy loves you.


  1. Aww, you made me cry. That is a beautiful testament to fatherhood. Warm wishes for a long lifetime of moments to cherish from one parent to another.

  2. Thank you.
    Hopefully I'll be posting something when HIS son turns five.

  3. Fortunately, they weren't, but that doesn't make the eternity of terror I felt in those few seconds any less real.

    There is very vivid imagery throughout, but this sentence stands out. It looks like a phrase we've all been using, but you just came up with it.

    I had the same experience, but I was the oldest of my three brothers. Caleb was the baby, at just under a year, meaning me'n Josh were 5 and 7, respectively.

    The main difference is that my dad was in the car. Accounts vary, but I know he found the driver--who had to be taken away in an ambulance--a little bit up the street.

    None of us were hurt, thankfully.

  4. Your story gives hope and reminds us how we need to love life and our loved ones as much as we can. Amazing.

  5. Wow Brad. I hope you know how amazing of a person your are. Your words speak to so many, and they are always so honost. Being that I have had similar "close" calls with the boys, I know the terror you speak of first hand. When a Doctor tells you theres nothing else they can do to help your sticks with you.

  6. You, as a person, have just taken a giant leap up the ladder of WOW with this post. Unbelievable. That is the most emotional thing I've read in quite some time, and what makes it even more amazing is that it really happened. I think you just described every father's worst nightmare... and I swear to God I did not read this before I wrote about the very same thing in my short story, Chasing Dreams (except it did not have the same outcome)... a story I already know you're in love with. How weird is that? I just got goosebumps.

    Your son is a year younger than mine, and I totally understand what you mean about it being "only" five years but you can't remember what life was like without him. Me and Joe say that to each other all the time, "What did we do before he was born?" It doesn't seem like the same lifetime.