::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Anatomy of a car crash part 8

We live in a tiny house built in 1952. We don't live beyond our means. We've remodeled most of our house ourselves to save money. We live paycheck to paycheck. We were poor. We were happy. Life was perfect.

Before the accident happened I was running 5-7 miles per day & Ryan was getting into it too. I would run on our treadmill in the mornings while colum took his first nap. That time was sacred to me. I ran my first 10k then a 1/2 marathon, which is something i never thought I'd do. We bought a used double jogging stroller off of KSL & ran a 5k as a family thanksgiving morning. running gave me a high that's better than any words can describe. It was also very exciting to have Ryan join me...something healthy that we could do together. I can't wait to run again!

I felt that I'd made it through the hardest part of having small children close in age & everything was easier. They both slept through the night. Colum usually woke up first. I would put him on the couch & fill a bottle with cold milk, as i gave it to him he'd grin at me. Then I'd find the softest blanket i could find & put it on his lap & a piece against his precious little face. He would grab the blanket & silently give me that loving grin. Then i would put on his latest favorite show (was toy story) & he would smile like it was Christmas morning, because his brother ruled the tv scene most of the time. I would grab my sugar-free rockstar out of the fridge & crawl back in bed & try to pull out of my sleeping pill coma, & after I drank the whole thing hopefully get a pre-run jolt. Without a doubt within 5 minutes, Colum would sneak down the hall & stand at my doorway dragging his blanket, bottle hanging from his teeth. His smile would say I found you mama, now you have to cuddle. I would say something like "Monster boy how did you find me?", he would laugh & climb into bed with me. It was one of my favorite morning rituals. Finn & Colum played & played all day, they could look at each other a certain way & make each other laugh. They would play their own version of hide & seek, and shared a bedroom. Ryan & I looked forwArd to camping, fishing, & lots of future family vacations with our beloved boys that got along so well. I always felt so lucky I was able to give Finn a brother, since it was so hard for us to get pregnant with Finn (IVF twice).

Exactly a week after the accident the officer came in to talk to us about the accident. The man who hit us name is Thomas A*%><}*!? (don't know if I can disclose his full name). He claims he wasn't drinking but drank the night before. He said he dropped his cell phone & bent over to pick it up, & before he knew it he was headed straight for us. He is between the age of 54-56 & he lives with his parents. The officer told us he was insured, this got me through a lot of my surgeries. But, 2 weeks later our insurance called to tell us he was not insured. I lost my security blanket that evening. This was a very dark hour for me. This is when I learned this man, who I believe to have been intoxicated, crashed into my family, killed my precious, sweet-as-honey baby, forever ruined our Christmas'/my birthdays, almost killed Ryan, Finn & I, & has almost destroyed our entire lives, he did this; yet it is ALL on our shoulders. We are likely to be in financial ruin. But what eats at me the most isnt the money, or the scumbag that hit us.

I want to smell him & run my fingers through his hair. I want to hear his stories as he points at nothing & jabbers away. His face when Daddy gets off work & first steps in the door. His lips were the most juicy, kissable lips, I had to pin his arms down to get kisses because he would say "no", & slap or punch you so hard. I know him. I miss him. I want him back in my arms. Colum, I was so lucky to be your Mommy.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. You are amazing to me. I have babies close in age to yours ( my first was also IVF) and I can only imagine your pain. I hope he goes to jail. I know that won't bring your sweet boy back or ease your pain. I just want you to know I hurt for you. I know we don't know each other but you are not alone.

  2. You and your family are in my prayers. You are an inspiration to us all who read these very personal and tender blog entries. Thank you for helping me to put my priorities in order and life into perspective. I don't know you but love you for the amazing woman, wife and mother that you are. Thank you for sharing a part of you with so many of us! I love you with all my heart and wish I could help you. The only way I know how to help you at this time is to pray for you and I will put you and your families name in the temple. You will be with Colum again!

  3. Kelly, I am so sorry. I can only imagine how devastating and frustrating this whole situation would be. He's in is 50's and still living with his parents...really!?! Not only is the accident horribly tragic by itself, but around Christmas...it breaks my heart for you and then to learn about your birthday...I'm so sorry. The first thing I said when I found out Colum has passed away was, "there goes their Christmases." I just pray that the excitement Finn will have, looking forward to Christmas, will help you and Ryan heal.

  4. Ever since I have heard about this, my heart has ached...I too went through infertility treatments after years of frustration and cannot imagine your heartache. Oh, I would want to give that man a piece of my mind!!!! I wish I could donate more to help you out, I have told everyone I know to donate if they are able. I have been praying for you...now is the time when you know you are truly not alone and how much you are loved

  5. Prayers for you! Gosh, this isn't fair, I'm crying as I read your post. Your amazing, Colum is watching over you and your family. I pray for all of you so much! I'm so glad that Finn is doing so well, Bless his sweet heart as he is so little and innocent. I hope you can find comfort one day knowing you will all spend eternity together one day. I'm sure it will never take the pain away, but Colum would want you all to be happy and continue to live on in his memory.

  6. I'm so sad for you. I really can't imagine your's and Ryan's pain. I hurt so deeply for you both. I've had many sleepless and emotional nights. What has happened is so tragic and it's all because some asshole - adult asshole who made very irresponsible choices, be it drinking and driving or picking up a cell phone while driving or both (my guess). Any responsible person would never do either of these things. This man should be the one paying the price. Not you and your family.
    You've been unspeakably courageous, strong, dignified in all of this. I, too, can say I truly love your family.
    I know it's easier said than done, but keep your head up. The sun will rise and set for you, Ryan & Finn with Colum smiling proudly in silence, never to leave any of you. I pray everyday you feel his presence and know he's here with you in spirit. Each day that passes is one day closer to seeing his beautiful face again.
    I'm sending more prayers to heaven. I hope God answers every single one.

  7. Kelly - I'm so sorry for your loss. I too am a mother and my heart goes out to you and your family. You are in my thoughts.

  8. I just read about your story yesterday, Kelly, and you have been in my constant thoughts and prayers. Day by day, dear. Day by day...

  9. Kelly,

    Every day, I check your blog several times, hoping for an update. And every time you post, I begin leaving a message, but then stop. We don't know each other, and I always feel like nothing I say would make a difference or help you. The truth is -- I don't know how you feel. I can't even fathom the physical and emotional pain you've been dealing with. Nothing I've experienced in either category comes close.

    So, all I can say is that I love you and your family. Without having met you, I feel that I know you, thanks to your personal and touching accounts of your situation. I wish I could say more that would bring you comfort. I've donated money for your expenses (and will do more after reading about your insurance situation). But I wish there were more that I could do to help you. I think of you every day (for a majority of the day), and my heart aches for you.

    I would trade places with your sweet Colum in a heartbeat, if I could.

    A friend,

  10. I keep looking for a "like button" because I want to endorse all the things your friends, known and not-yet-known, are writing from their hearts here. I'm sure these comments are the merest tip of the iceberg. Thank you for writing so eloquently about these terrible things that have and are happening to you. You are giving strength to so many, and I hope that by writing, it empowers you a little bit more and also releases a tiny bit of the pain. The world is a better place for your Monster Boy. He is closer to you than you may think. I just pray that comfort and love will envelop you, Ryan and Finn, Kelly.
    ~ Nadine

  11. Kelly.... Words can't ever bring you the true peace you desire. I won't even try. You see, I am in your shoes, or perhaps you are trying out mine.... A friend passed along your info because our stories are terrifyingly similar. Our accident was in October 2007. And we all nearly lost our lives. The guy who hit us was underinsured. We have to file bankruptcy. Oh....but if that were the worse! We were unconscious and didn't find out our precious 17 mo old was gone for 48 hrs. Now your angel, Colum, is playing in a beautiful field with my angel, Levi. Each day will get a little easier, I promise. The pain is the worse imaginable, but he is with you.... If you need to vent, cry, or talk, please email me, DandeeRose@gmail.com . I will be happy to give you my number. I know all too well of the road you are traveling sweetie. It gets dark, look to friends and family and God. Sometimes, though, when you feel they don't understand you can call me.

  12. My son and I were hit head-on by a drunk driver in 1998. We both survived, the drunk driver did not. He had no license, insurance, and it wasn't his car. While the losses we suffered were nothing compared to yours, I understand the anger you are feeling towards this man. You and your family are in my prayers.

  13. Kelly,
    I don't know you at all but found your blog after reading of the horrific accident. Then as I read about your sweet baby boy I realized your son and my daughter are buried very close to each other in AF. Our sweet baby was still born at 23 weeks. I know the aches that fill your heart daily as you come to terms with the why. Just know you are still Colum's mom and he is up there playing and working hard in Angel land until the day he can be reunited with you. He is watching over you and helping you get through this crazy mess. My favorite quote that has brought me so much comfort is: "Some people only dream of Angels, we held one in our arms. Big hugs to you and your sweet family. We will continue to pray for you.

  14. Kelly-
    I think about you constantly, but can never find the right words to say. I can't imagine the emotional pain you are going through. The physical pain is horrendous I am sure, but nothing compared to the pain of losing your sweet boy. My uncle was hit head on by an un-insured driver and my aunt's uninsured motorist policy helped them out a lot, but financially were still in a lot worse shape than the uninsured guy. How is that even possible? It's infuriating. Please feel free to let anybody know that I am still donating a portion of every photography session to your account.

  15. I just read your story and found you through Stephanie Nielson's blog. I am at a loss for words for you and your family, other than, I am praying for you and am so sorry for your loss and daily struggles.

    Much love from Lexington, Ky
    Jamey Rogers

  16. Kelly,
    Like many other people commenting - you don't know me. I am so so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what you are feeling. I am sorry for your pain and your injuries. I am sorry for your heartache. I have been praying for your and your family since I heard about this. I pray the pain both inside and out will become bearable. Stay strong and turn to those who can help you feel of the Spirit and of the Savior's love.
    Thinking of you and your sweet family - sending love xoxo

    Calgary, AB

  17. My prayers and tears for you and your family.

  18. Oh sweetheart I am so sorry to hear this new news...That is definitely a kick in the stomach while you are down. You are always in our prayers!

  19. Kelly and Family,
    I truly believe that in our darkest hours the kindness of humanity brightens our path until we can see the light. Although we are complete strangers I will pray for your family and think of you often. I had $49.12 left in my account -I just transfered it to yours.

  20. Kelly,

    We don't know each other and we have never met. I live very close to where the accident occurred. I have an 18-month old blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy who looks very similar to your beautiful Colum. And I was driving with my family on that road not 15 minutes before the accident happened. I have no idea the emotional and physical pain you are dealing with. I can't fathom the pain and loss of a child. Through your posts, I feel like I know you and I want to help in any way possible. I will donate as much as I can...and I will also urge others I know to do the same. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  21. Sweet Kelly,
    Your personality shines through in your writing and I love you even more than I already did. You and your sweet family are a constant in our prayers. I think of you daily. I just wanted you to know how much I admire your strength and courage. I look forward to reading your story and hearing your thoughts. Know that you are not alone and we are all pulling for you. I don't know why things like this happen-- I think trying to make sense of something so tragic can be a mistake. BUT, I want you to know that I know, that families can be forever. And, sweet Colum still lives. Bless you. Stay strong.
    Love you tons!
    Natalie Jensen

  22. Kelly and Ryan

    I read through your blog and you have such a fun, strong spirit. We have never met.. yet your family is in my prayers. I will never understand the bond of a mother and a child, but I see your children are your life, heart and soul. The loss of Colum was a great one. He will live on in you and in your husband and son. I know that doesn't bring much comfort. Know that there are many people praying for you all and hoping.... for strength.... Thank you for sharing your story. I wish I could say something more...


  23. Kelly,
    You probably don't know me, but Ryan is a friend of my husband, Jake Hofheins. You and I were in the hospital at the same time when our babies were born (your Colum and my Grayson). I met Ryan at that time.

    I was so heartbroken when we heard the news. I can't begin to imagine the pain you must be going through. I won't even pretend to know...but I can only hope and pray that you can find peace through this horrible tragedy. I know there are so many people pulling for you and your family right now.

    Thank you for sharing your personal story here. I can tell you are a wonderful mother and wife. You're inspiring me every day to be a better wife and mother (I have 4 little monsters).

    I will continue to pray for you and your family.

  24. Kelly,

    I live in Southern Utah and have followed Stephanie Nielson's blog for a while. I wondered who this "Pack family" was that she mentioned and have been so affected by reading your story. I, too, have sweet boys (10 months & almost 3) and just last night (before reading your blog)I was thinking about how my worst fear has to be seeing them suffer. I hate the thought of loosing them & I hate that you have to go through that. I wish there were something I could do to help. I know any words can sound shallow when you hurt so deeply, so I won't try to say anything other than I love you and your family, even though we've never met. And I'll help the only ways I can think of at the time: 1. prayer and 2. money. If I can ever help another way, I would be honored to.


  25. I love you & your family & I know it is so incredibly painful but your blog makes a huge difference, letting the world see & hear your grief & love for your family. My heart aches for your loss and your family. You are in my prayers every moment. I am a runner & a mother of a young son & a wife and I feel for you on every level of my being and in so many ways. xoxoxoxox

  26. As I read this, I have mixed feelings... happiness, anger, and sadness!! I continue to pray for all of you! I hope you get to go home soon and be with your husband and Finn!


  27. Kelly,

    You are truly amazing. I find myself crying and smiling through your blog posts. I think of you and your family so very often. You are a stranger that has become my friend in frequent thoughts. Colum obviously lives on through your beauty and strength. Continued well wishes and much love for healing and future pregnancies!

  28. Kelly,
    I am so moved by your strength and courage. I donated money via paypal, it wasn't much but I hope that it will help. SO sorry for your loss. All my love to you and your family. I am not a mother and cannot imagine what it must feel like to lose a child. I hope you heal quickly so that you may become a mother to another little one. My heart goes out to you during these hard times.
    Portland, OR

  29. Kelly and Ryan
    My heart goes out to you, this is why everyone should have insurance, so what is his penalty going to be, he definetly deserves something, i to appreiate you typing and writing everything i love all of you and as i don't know you i know the yates, trevor that is heping ryan please post if i can help, i do believe in angels and all of you are angels and colum is still with you i really hope u can come home soon, love you all, hugs and kisses

  30. I love to go into the stores and empty out all of my bills and coins and it puts that smile on my face that you saw on colum

  31. Kelly ... I have been reading your blog and agree to you should publish it to help others that will go through here horrible pain you are enduring right now. I pray for your family daily. I have a daughter and still can't fathom what you and your family are going through. All I can say is don't be afraid to cry. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to be angry. Thank you for your posts. They inspire me to be a better mother. To cherish my moments. Thomas will pay for his irresponsability. He we'll pay for the loss of your sweet precious angel. If not in this life. ... then the next. All my love. Whitney.

  32. Poor and Happy, that's exactly where I consider us to be at this point. It scares me (a lot!) that such a simple happy existence could disappear in an instant. You are amazing and I know you will get back to that one day. Yes, you were/are a dedicated runner and it made me so happy when I knew you would run again just because you have a passion for it and I know how much it helps me sort through difficult emotions. I can't wait to run on that finished canal trail with you! This post is so hard to read because Penny and I have such a similar morning ritual. It's beautiful and I will appreciate every time I hear her calling out in the morning, exhausted or not! He was a beautiful boy and I love hearing all the special intimate details of the moments you shared together. love love love Heidi

  33. Kelly,
    Thank you for sharing your story and your struggles. After reading this it helped to remind me that when I think are bad for me their os someone that is having a struggle worst then mine. You are an amazing woman and have more strength then I think I would have after all your trials. Continue to be positive and inspire us.