::pack:: of fixations

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


Hearing all trials

So now the fun stuff is starting.  And by fun, I mean fighting for Justice.  The Preliminary Hearing for Utah State against Thomas Randall Ainsworth is tomorrow at 9:00am.  Ryan and I have been subpoenaed to take the witness stand.  I honestly can't believe this is happening.  I've kept mum all this time about the trial on purpose.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say or not say.  This is going to be a very long drawn out process.  I will probably rarely, if at all write about it, until it's over.  It will probably be in the media a lot, and we have chosen to not speak to the media about our case from here on out.

From what I understand he is trying to get out so he can do physical therapy.  Physical therapy can be done in a jail cell, or a hospital bed <--I know from personal experience.  Him.  The man that got into his Suburban, turned the key with meth running through his veins, jumped a 3 foot tall landscaped median and hit our Subaru Outback going 60 mph on Christmas Eve.  Severely injuring 3 out of 4 of us; killing 1 of the 3, and changing our lives forever.  I have to be in the same room with him.  He nor his family has made any effort to apologize to us.  

I keep having thoughts running through my head.  Will I even look at him?  Will I yell and scream at him?  Will I want to yell and scream at him?  Will I cry?  Will I feel angry?  Can I hold it together?

We've met with our Crime advocate 'guy' who explained to us how this process goes.  He told us an interesting fact: only about 1 in 20 cases end up making it to trial.  I find this to be an interesting statistic.  A small percentages of cases get thrown out etc, but most of the time they don't make it to trial due to plea bargains.  As an example of a plea bargain we would agree that the prosecutor drop a percentage of his charges and he agrees to plead guilty to the rest.  The trial process would be over but he wouldn't get as many counts on his record.  This, is highly unlikely to happen in our case.  He was charged with (3) 2nd degree felonies.  One for the injuries he caused to me, one for Ryan, and one for the injury/death of Colum.  It would be almost impossible for us to agree to drop any of these (3), being what they represent.  As in, we are very most-likely going to trial baby!  We are the 1 out of the 20.

It's also disheartening to know that he has an attorney whom will be fighting for him... fighting against us.  Fighting against the people who were driving home, headed eastbound on their side of the road, following all the laws, and minding their own business.  I know that this is just part of the justice system of our beautiful country, but when it's happening to you, it's hard.  I want him/us to all have a fair trial, and the 'fight' is a big part of that.  I'm glad that we are on the 'good guys' team.  

One minute Colum was right behind me living and breathing anticipating Santa Claus, and the next minute we were hit; he was gone.  This man has changed me.  I cry everyday and literally ache because of his decisions.  

Christmas Day.  Our little boy on life support.  Our last moments with him.

Daddy saying goodbye.

We will fight.  Fight for our aching bodies.  Fight for the life cut short of our precious son.  I love you Colum.  Mommy and Daddy are going to fight until the end for you!  Fight to keep this one man off the road!  We are broken, but we are strong.  

Colum, you were perfect.  You were beautiful.  Your happiness was contagious.  I miss you.

He would turn on the radio button in this little car & dance and dance.  I love him.

I miss those eyes squinting in the sunlight.


Home from Dreams

We made it home.  We had a nice time and the beaches were beautiful.  I know I made it sound like we were going on a cruise, but we actually stayed at a resort in Cabo.  It was our first time doing so.  I enjoyed the one we chose because it was really good for families.  They have a 'kids club', which was included and Finn loved.  He wanted to go there instead of swimming with us some days.  The resort we stayed at was called "Dreams".  The food was okay, the bottled water wasn't very good... but where we live I can honestly say has the best tasting water from the tap ever!  So, nothing can top it, and I'm a huge water drinker so my water matters.  

We walk funny.  It's just the way it is.  I'm so happy to be walking (and toileting myself) that it doesn't bother or embarrass me one bit.  But when you are staying at an all-inclusive resort walking funny comes across as something completely different :).  Also, when you walk with a limp after a full day your back and hips can begin to ache.  One night, I was walking up the small hill to the main lobby, which led to our room.  I had both hands on my lower back, and I passed a woman who nicely and casually asked, "Long day?".  I awkwardly sorta laughed and said something I don't remember.  But I wanted to say, "no, I'm newly handicap and my lower back is killing me from walking with a limp, and my eyes look so tired because I cry every single day-all the time because my baby isn't here with us anymore & my heart and soul literally ache for him every second.  Because somebody who had no business driving decided to drive a Suburban & hit our car head-on... and did I mention that it was on Christmas Eve".  

That's what I wanted to say again another night when some men behind me were having a laugh at me walking the way I do up the same hill (ramps/hills are not fun on our knees we learned), about how tired I must be.  

It doesn't offend me when things like this happen.  It's just my personality to explain 'why' and that I didn't binge drink all day and trip & fall, that's not 'why' I walk like this.  I walk like this proudly because I lied in a hospital bed for 7 weeks wishing to walk in any way possible. Practically scraping the windows to get out. I guess I just want them to know that no, actually I've gone to hell and back... so shut the hell up and give me a pat on the back, even a high five, a slap on the butt I could handle.  

We got to lay on hammocks on the beach, something we've never done before.  Something I've fantasized about for, well my entire life.  I listened to books on my kindle and closed my eyes while the waves crashed along the beach.  Finn conquered his fear of being in water that he can't touch the bottom of (with floaties on) by himself with nobody holding him!  He would swim across the entire gigantic pool, this made us very happy.  Finn, isn't a daredevil, climber, or rough & tumble type.  He's a cautious, funny, thoughtful, and adventurous type.  On the 3rd day I got some sort of flu (I swear leave it to me to get sick).  Ryan and Finn went and built a huge sandcastle which he captured on our video camera which is out of batteries and I have yet to watch.  We got really tan, Ryan actually doesn't have a hint of 'farmer tan' on him.  This is the 1st time since I've known him.  Except for the sock line, he has to wear tennis shoes so he can wear his AFO so he can walk.  His hip was broken and his sciatic nerve was damaged so he has something called foot drop.  His left foot just hangs there kinda like in a pointed position.  He can't move it.  He can't flex it.  He can't feel most of it and a lot of his left leg.  But, when he wears his shoes and AFO it enables him to walk almost normal.  If he doesn't wear it, he has to lift up his left leg pretty high so he can flop that foot up and around flat again.  <---I couldn't type that without laughing.  It's really funny to watch.  Poor bugger has to wear shoes all day long and doesn't take them off until right before he goes to sleep.  Oh, don't worry he makes fun of me all the time too.  We make fun of each other and do impressions of each other's new walks.  But since his sciatic nerve wasn't severed his feeling and flexing should come back again.  Nerve damage just takes a very long time to heal... years even.  

Ryan walking without his tennis shoes on :) Go Ryan!

Finn's 1st time at 'swim' beach.  Loved it!

On our vacation I learned that my highest happiness level can't get quite to a 10.  It can only get to about a 5.  I know in time when I get better at playing my piano it will get up to a 10 again.  I was able to get to a 5 a few times and it felt nice.  I felt sad a lot because every meal we went to and the hostess asks how many it's now 3, not 4.  Dropping off only 1 child at the kids club, not 2.  Wrestling matches on the bed and feeling like something's missing.  Watching other families with more than 1 child, and the parents trying to wrangle the little ones while the older misbehave.  I miss the chaos of having 2.  I miss taking deep breaths and telling myself it will get easier and I can do this.  I miss having to buckle up 2 carseats.  I miss 2 brothers laughing at something secret.  I miss telling the hostess 4.

More pics from our trip...

We bought Finn a batman costume and Dad a mask from the beach vendors...

Family picture in front of the famous arch by lover's beach.

Alone time with the Man of the house.

Living out my hammock dreams and Finn in his floaties.



I'm packing for our first family vacation.  I'm very excited.  I'm sad he's not able to come with us.  I'm sad that I'm not stressing out about what we are going to do with our monster all day since he's too young to be in the childcare, and how his schedule will get totally messed up.  We were supposed to go on a cruise in February and I was so stressed about what we were going to do with a clumsy toddler on a ship.  I wonder how long it will take for the resort staff to get used to the lady who walks around crying, or if my sunglasses will be on the whole time and no one will even know.  

We have relatives staying at our house which is a huge relief.  I've dreamt about going to the beach for years now.  In the hospital Ryan would tell the nurses and Dr's about after we get to walking we are definitely going somewhere... I never thought it would really happen.  I can't believe it.  Finn is going on his first airplane ride.  I hope he doesn't get scared!  I hope the airplane doesn't crash and I hope I don't sit and worry about it crashing.  

Another Angel Mom left me a link to this article about grief.  It explains things so perfectly as it did for her.  Thank you Ashley.  

I'm learning to play my piano.  And I love my piano because it's all I have left.

I'm also honored to be a guest blogger on Smitten by again.  So check out my post on the 23rd.  And I will be back in about 11 days to tell you all about the vacation of my dreams.  Maybe some pics of our attempts on sandcastles, and getting a tan.  

And thank you so much for reading and thank you again for all of the sweet comments.  It really brightens my day with every single one.  Love to you all.  I hope you all have a wonderful and sunny 11 days!


Painstakingly mine

If you are anything like me, if you could go back to High School now; knowing what you now know you would be different.  You wouldn't care about what people thought about you.  I carried a lot of pain with me back then.  I thought I was fat and I was tiny.  I thought that I was homely and I wasn't.  

Ever since the accident has happened I think I've gone a step further.  I think part of my pain involves wanting to tell my old pain that they can go screw themselves because they didn't know what pain was.  I was weak.  I had it all.  I was happy.  I didn't even know what happy was.  Sometimes I wish that I would have lost him another way.  Where I had months to absorb the horrible future and remember the last time I held him... knowingly held him.  I shamefully don't remember the very last moments I, his Mother spent holding, cuddling, or talking to him.  We have a handful of wonderful friends that all had babies (all boys) the same year as Colum.  Two others were even born on the 29th of the month too.  When I was in the hospital I remember telling Ryan that there was no way I'd ever be able to be around or see them again.  How could I?  I was beyond terrified of what that would do to me.  I knew I couldn't live like that and made a decision before I left the hospital that I wasn't going to let that effect me.  I was going to be strong.  Recently, we had a gathering where a lot of them were there.  I find myself watching them.  It makes me happy to watch them, see their behavior, and hear what words they have to say.  It is hard however because I didn't plan on them getting bigger.  I didn't expect them to grow taller or advance like normal toddlers do.  I suppose because this happened to me, they are all suppose to freeze in time.... not their parents' lives, I just forgot that the 'boys' would grow bigger.  The 'boys' are growing bigger and my Colum isn't.  I didn't prepare myself for this part of it.  It's a bittersweet feeling.  I truly am so glad to have these boys that I will get to watch grow-up.  I will always know right where my Colum will be.  It makes me happy to have them around, but it will be hard to watch them grow up, because my Dove isn't growing up too.

I think lately I've been just plain frightened of the future.  I desperately want to have more children (at least one).  But, the further away I get from the accident the more I'm realizing that my life will go on, I will be truly happy, and things will go back to normal.... but there will always be a small dark cloud hovering over me.  I can't think of what comic strip it is but that's what it reminds me of.  I can see myself being pregnant and having another child or 2, but there's that cloud.  And it's a little bit terrifying to realize and except my cloud.  My cloud represents the loss, the ache, and the deadened part of my soul.  It hovers over me always.  I know Colum is my angel, my sunshine, and my dove :).  But I'm terrified that no matter how happy or how wonderful life gets, it will follow me.  I'm learning to get used to my dark cloud even though it's frightening, it's apart of me.  It's painstakingly mine now.


Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.  We went to Grandma Packs and did our annual Easter egg scavenger hunt.  I appreciate all the thought and planning she puts into it every year.  Discovered Finn loves 'Peeps' something I don't understand but I think they are cute.  We visited Colum's grave.  I cried a little because I remember exactly what he was wearing last year and I missed him with us this year.  I am trying to force myself to think of ideas for his headstone daily, I even put a reminder in my phone.  I want it to be beautiful and perfect for him, but it's really hard for me to do this.  But I need to because I want it up by his Birthday if possible.

And, we are getting ready for a beach getaway next week.  This is our 3rd booked vacation for our 10th anniversary (back in Oct), the other 2 didn't happen... so I'm excited to finally be going somewhere and just relaxing as a family.  We NEVER go anywhere, so this is so exciting for us.  I've been half way packed for a week already.  I'm excited to see Finn as he experiences the beach for the first time, sand in between his toes, making sandcastles, and the beauty of the ocean.  I'm excited not to worry about groceries, or cleaning, or any responsibilities for awhile.  

I have good days and I have bad days.  I cry everyday.  We watched 'Life As We Know It', it came out a few years ago, and I think we saw it when I was pregnant with Colum.  It's a story that is sorta polar opposite than ours about 2 people that dislike each other but their best friends die in a car crash and they become the caretakers of their baby.  They have their ups and downs but they learn to live with their new lives and make the most out of it.  I enjoyed re-watching this movie again.  I think that's what I'm striving  for now is making the most out my life and our lives together.  Although, part of my soul has been taken from me, I still want to make happy memories with my family and actually enjoy living again.  I'm excited about what lies ahead and feel that I've already grown wiser and stronger from all this pain.  I don't think that the things that used to get me down will even effect me anymore.   There really is nothing better than a healthy, happy family.



We all went to the Good Grief concert the other night and listened to some very talented artists.  I met a lot of Mother's who've also lost children and was warmly welcomed into the tragic club.  We had a beautiful time, but I have to admit I'm still struggling to get used to this.  You never expect your baby to leave this earth, the second they hand you your newborn baby for the first time.  This was never in my future plans.  My thirties were going to be the best years of my life, and I had 2 beautiful boys and the perfect husband and marriage to prove it.  We were gonna go camping and fishing, I would complain about all the baseball games I had to go to with my 2 boys being so close together.  I would roll my eyes when they tracked mud through the house and when girls called.  But, now I have a new future.  One of mourning, tears, a broken heart, and aching arms.  I except it.  I'm just not used to it.

I've been needing to feel close to him lately, I needed to talk to him.   I shamefully realized I've barely gone to his grave and never by myself.  I started crying, or was I already crying?  I think I'm strangely not attached to his grave because we were unable to attend the burial.  We are still working on the headstone.  And some days it just doesn't seem real.  I jumped up out of bed, went and picked up my prescription with tears streaming down my face.  I think most of the town knows our story.  If they don't I don't care, I just am a lady that cries openly in public now.  I found his mound of dirt decorated with windmills, silk flowers, toys, and lots of other colorful things.  It helped it look a lot happier than just an empty square of dirt.   I haven't been able to kneel down on my knees so I just lied down on the grass and cried.  I didn't know if or how I'd be able to stand back up.  I lied there and talked to my baby.  I know what's underneath that dirt.  It's apart of my soul.  It's a hero.  It's my Colum.

I know a lot of people are wondering how Finn is handling this.  I think he's still getting used to our new life too.  When we talk about Colum he laughs and you can see there is a memory playing in his head of his baby Brother behind his brown eyes.  He doesn't cry.  He doesn't understand why Mommy cries.  He misses his brother but doesn't understand how big of a tragedy this is.  I think we are lucky that he is at an age where he thinks he can be Spiderman when he grows up and the affects of this don't seem to traumatize him.  

We are trying to think of what to put on our babies headstone.  I casually asked some friends if they had any ideas and the most perfect words started coming out of our friend Jane's mouth.  It's from a book her mother-in-law gives to all her grandchildren when they are born.  The book is called 'Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You'.

We wanted you more 
than you ever will know,
so we sent love to follow 
wherever you go.

You are our angel, our darling, 
our star... and our love will find you, 
wherever you are.

(I changed the I's to we's and the my's to our's)

We are still trying to choose a picture and few other things on the front.  I'm thinking a dove and maybe some honeysuckles (Colum's birth flower tattooed on Daddy's back).  The stone we chose is dark green.  And we want most of the writing to be white, so it pops out.  I also, want it to be simple, classic, not too ornate.  

Any thoughts or great ideas?