::pack:: of fixations

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


Auburn hair

Growing up I remember a woman who was in my Ward (went to my church) she was probably in her late 30's & her Husband was bald with a horse shoe haircut & they had a son.  She was tall & had medium auburn hair and her son had her same color of hair.  He was quiet and had a sweet demeanor about him.  I remember my family sitting behind theirs in church meetings and I'd watch him quietly play & thinking they were lovely people who doted on their one beautiful 5/6 year old son.  Tragedy hit them one day.  He ran out to get the mail as his Mother cautiously watched on the front porch.  A semi-truck was randomly speeding through the neighborhood & she watched her one precious child get struck & was killed instantly.  

I was in about 8th/9th grade I think and I felt sick for them.  I later found out she had cancer & was only able to give birth to their one child whom got her beautiful thick auburn hair.  I'll never forget the over-all anguish that loomed over our small neighborhood & the indescribable sadness we all felt for them.  The terror & helplessness of it happening right in front of his Mother's eyes.  The guilt she must've thrown on herself and the will to move forward must have taken all the strength she had.  I remember seeing the mother & father at church about a month following this horrible tragedy.  I recall her pretty auburn hair being a little disheveled & not as perfectly coiffed as she used to wear it.  I remember he held his head in his hands & people awkwardly stopping by the small couch outside the meeting hall giving them their condolences.  I remember bloodshot eyes & wrinkled clothes & feeling sick with emptiness, helplessness, & despair.  I've thought about that Mom often over the years.  Wondered how she was managing, how she managed the strength and courage to walk through this bumpy path we call life.  But what I didn't foresee is that I 
should've been taking notes.  Studying her, asking her for tips on how to tip toe around 
every one else's uncomfortable ness while trying to hold yourself together.  I should've 
made more mental notes & quizzed her on when her good days were & when I can plan on
wearing eye make-up again.  I felt so sorry for her & I shed tears from all the unimaginable 
pain that she must've been enduring every single day.  Little did I know that I would get the opportunity to feel the same way she does.  The pain that is so horrible that most mothers 
cant even go there.  My hair is disheveled because, well it fell out.  I cut off all the nasty & 
every picture that is taken of me resembles a wicked witch (it will look better when a few 
more inches gets cut off) & it's slowly getting back to normal).  I remember seeing the sadness in her eyes week after week.  6 months-1 year after their son had passed I watched as they adopted 2 beautiful children from Russia who didin't speak a lick of English.  I observed her as closely as I could.  Years went by and I remember seeing her, our wards had split up & I was still curious I was secretly hoping to see that the pain had disappeared from her beautiful eyes.  But it was still there.  

I remember overhearing her tell someone that she always drove the speed limit & how she was constantly getting honked & cussed at.   And tears began to fall freely from her eyes as she said if they only had any idea why I'm unable to drive over the speed limit.  I remember as a teenager getting on my friends who were tailgating people while driving just in case it might be the nice lady who had a lovely family with the beautiful auburn hair.  

It's terrifying to me, that this pain will never go away.  I remember in the beginning; the early days...after we'd been told & still believed he had insurance.  My baby was gone.  And it was back to back surgeries, I'd wake up in agonizing pain both physically and emotionally and I remember what got me through those first 7 days, I'd tell myself Kelly it's Okay, you will always be so sad but you will get a settlement and you will buy a beach house & Ryan won't have to work anymore.  Finn will learn to surf & you will run along the beach.  I would imagine myself there.  The waves crashing and the salty air blowing through my hair drying my tears.  Finn would be happy & Ryan wouldn't be over-worked and could can tomatoes, salsa, & pickled jalapeƱos all day long.  Maybe now looking back I needed that fantasy in order to survive.  And here we are in paradise and it's just what the Dr ordered.  We spent the whole day at the beach today.  There were a few handfuls of kids playing in a tide pool.  I told him it was okay to go over there and play with them.  I watched as my heart broke in two as he boldly walked over there all by himself & tried to make friends.  Warm tears fell from my cheeks because I knew at that moment he was missing his partner in crime, it probably wouldn't have been so intimidating for him if he had his little brave brother shadowing him to boost his confidence.  But as I watched I was so proud of him and I know Colum would have been proud to.  

I love you baby!  I wish we could've taken you here & been able to watch you fearlessly jump through the waves.  I look for you everywhere little dove.

Thank you so much for all your kind comments on my last post.  I never thought I'd be brave enough to come out of the closet on here.  & thank you for loving us despite us being different or similar :).


  1. I remember you telling me that story years ago. I never though in a million years it would happen to us...to you. Finn is so cute and brave! Hurry home.

  2. Happy to hear that you are enjoying the fresh beach air, but sorry as always that you are without your sweet Dove. Continued prayers and positive thoughts to you all.

  3. My parents were devastated when my brother committed suicide at 20 years old some 23 years ago. They found him. We thought they would never survive it, never be the same. The first few years were awful, just awful...

    They are not the same but over the years they learned to be happy again. To enjoy life, appreciate what they did have and move on. They still grieve my brother of course (as we all do) and become tearful at times when we remember him. There is hope. Sadly it takes time and grieving :(

    Hugs to you all and I hope the woman of which you speak finally found some happiness.

  4. I have been reading your blog since early this year and send my deepest condolences on the loss of your beautiful son. I read this article today and thought of you. My prayers to you and your family as you continue on this difficult journey.


  5. Finn is brave. Braylee always needs Preslee to go with her to knock on the neighbors door. She's getting a little better with one neighbor, but I don't what she would do without Preslee. So sad for Finn. Praying more brothers/sisters will be in his future. Wishing you could get your beach house. Glad you are having so much fun...you probably don't want to come home (:

    1. We saw your parents last night at Disneyland!!!

  6. I'm glad you all are having a great time! I bet Colum was there being a shadow!
    You're an amazing writter Kelly!! :)

  7. Kelly, you have such compassion and so much love! You really are so amazing.

  8. I'll bet everywhere he goes, Finn carries with him a bit of his little partner in crime. He probably helps give him strength. I'm glad you guys are having a much deserved vacation. Love you!

  9. Kelly, I love following your blog and have been since last year. I work at AirMed and was involved in your rescue and I would like to tell you more about it. Im so sorry, but I have no other way of contacting you. Could you email me at zionredrox@hotmail.com, I would like to share some personal ways you have inspired those of use who were touched by your family that day :)--- I love this recent post!

    1. I emailed you a couple of days ago. Please let me know if you didn't get it. Thank you so much for rescuing us! This means so much to me.

  10. My favorite quote: "The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." I truly believe that, especially the sea part. Enjoy your vacation!


  11. I follow you on Instagram, but I hardly ever comment on here or there. I loved this post. My little guy is a year younger than Colum, and I keep imagining what life was like for you last year and then to have him taken away. I try to breathe my baby in and out and know every angle of his faces and things that he does so that I can remember all of him. I thank you for that because I love reading about Colum and how much you KNOW him and remember him and live and breathe him. I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation so much. Family is God. I have never understood why people care what other people believe or don't believe. You are an amazing, inspiring, BEAUTIFUL person.

  12. Kelly,

    Our kids are the same age almost to the day. My heart breaks for you and because of you I soak up every moment I can with them. Thanks for sharing. You are absolutely amazing.