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Late one summer night in June, 1991, Randy and I received an awful phone call that began a series of devastating events. That night Randy's younger brother, David, was killed when a drunk driver slammed his pick-up broadside into the Ford Escort that David and his best friend were in. Both young men--they were only 27 years old--died at the scene before rescue workers could remove them from the wreckage. The Escort had been crushed and nearly folded in half.
We were all devastated but none so much as my mother-in-law, Ida Jean. Her baby was dead. All the spark went out of her. But her pain and suffering didn't stop with the death of her youngest child. Soon after David's death, Ida found out that the breast cancer she had fought so hard to defeat had returned. And it had spread. She had to begin chemo...again.
Ida went through the awful chemo treatments and followed all the doctors orders but the fight had gone out of her. In mid-November she was hospitalized and she never came home. The night before she died, we were called to the hospital. 'Mom' wanted to talk to us. When we got there, we chit-chatted and she told us that she loved us both. Later that night she went to sleep and never woke up. A blood clot had developed and her lungs stopped. My husband had lost his beloved Ma.
Unfortunately for all of us, we weren't even able to deal with the grief. Earlier in the year we were told by the doctors that my mother was also terminally ill. The Multiple Sclerosis that we had lived with nearly all of my life was entering its finally stages. The MS had begun to harden the vessels in her brain. Premature senility set in and the rest of her body was also affected by the damaged caused by plaque build up in the areas of the brain that controlled swallowing, breathing, and her heart. She died one week before my birthday in September, 1992.
In the span of 15 months, we lost a brother and both of our mothers. The family has never been the same.
In September, 2001, just one short week after the Terrorist attack, my cousin, Jill, died at the age of 45.
If you would like to read more about David, Ida Jean, Mom, and Jill, click on the links below.
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Last update: July 29, 2006