::pack:: of fixations

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



First order of business...the 5k is this Saturday 6/29 @ 8:30am.  We will have tshirt and number pick up starting at 7:00am.  If you have any questions email me at packx4@yahoo.com.  You can still donate or register at Iheartcolum.com 100% of proceeds will go to the Gunnell family.  They were on the news last Friday to watch it click here. (it totally made me cry for hours, by far my favorite news story ever!!!) Norah came home last week!  The Gunnell's have turned their home into a mini hospital and the expenses for renting the medical equipment is overwhelming.  Thank you to all that have helped this beautiful little girl.  She holds a special place in our hearts.  They will be making an appearance on Saturday, and I'm excited to see her awake.  I've only seen her when she was sleeping, recovering from a major surgery.  

Note: I'm really sorry for those that live out of state.  I can't get you your tshirts in time for the race.  I'd assumed the shirts were being made and accidentally dropped the ball and I had to go through somebody else and they will be ready probably the day before the race.  I will get them mailed next week and I'm terribly sorry!  

What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
for•give (fərˈgɪv) 

v. -gave, -giv•en, -giv•ing. v.t.

1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, sin, etc.); absolve.
2. to cancel or remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
5. to pardon an offense or an offender.

The trial has been scheduled for July 22 & 23.  This should be it.  The deadline for more motions has passed.

I've been struggling with the idea of forgiveness lately.  Do I forgive him?  I could write on here that I completely forgive him and come across as an angel but that's not me; I'm honest and am no angel.  We were victims of a crime.  The criminal has 3 pages of mugshots just in Salt Lake County alone.  When you click on his history you literally scroll to the bottom passing each mugshot, watching him slowly grow younger and younger in the photos and click next to get to page 2 and again to page 3 where you will find his earliest documented crime. A part of me feels sorry for him.  But honestly, I don't think about him often.  

We've been to the courthouse several times and sadly I always leave with the same impression. Through body language, letters to the judge from his family, and letters written to Ryan and I, there's one major thing lacking-


From our point of view, everything points to him not holding himself accountable for his actions.  His Mother doesn't seem to hold him accountable.   It seems in their minds, they are the victims.  I am keeping him in jail, not the state of Utah.  It was just an accident.  Crystal Meth doesn't impair your driving.  He will never walk again because we are keeping him locked up so he can't go to physical therapy.

To me this feels like a stab through the chest and a huge insult to injury.  

I don't expect his Mother to love her son any less or to not be by his side.  But the glares I receive from her makes it seem she forgets he killed my son.  

Her son still lives.

Honestly, I hold her accountable as much as I hold him...I have my reasons.  It's taught me to do it different as a Mother.  Teaching my children accountability is just as important if not more than not to do drugs.  I always feel like I'm on the brink of forgiving him.  But then the lack of accountability makes me angry and emotional.  It re-opens the wounds that are starting to heal.  

He's still in a wheelchair.  By the time the warrant went out for his arrest 3 months had passed. Ryan and I were both walking by then with assistance; I required a walker and Ryan a cane.  Our injuries were far worse than his from what we've been told. We woke up everyday and pushed ourselves out of bed.  Cried tears through the excruciating pain of relearning to walk while our hearts were broken in two.  We planned a funeral that we couldn't attend.  After being released from the hospital we made appointments and forced ourselves to continue to go to physical therapy.  The Dr's and nurses don't do it for you.  You actually have to schedule a time, get in your car and drive there.  Then you work your ass off harder than you ever have before. We fought through it and still do. Then you have to pay a whole shit-load of money for it because it isn't free.  You are the only one who can help you.  It was hard and it was frustrating but we did it.  He had 3 months to do this...3 months and he didn't.  

Sometimes I wonder if when the trial is over and I'm not around him anymore if I will start to feel completely at peace.  But then I remember he will be up for parole and as the victims we can write the parole board and attend hearings to keep him in prison, and you better believe we will.  It will never be over.  We will have to re-live it over and over, but at least he will be off the roads.  The man with 3 pages of mugshots.  The man who was arrested a month before that Christmas Eve for traffic violations and drug paraphernalia but the charges were dismissed.  The man who had no business to be out driving that night high as a kite.  The man who caused all this pain and the unimaginable sadness.

I'm having a hard time really forgiving somebody who isn't holding themselves accountable.  I'm not sure when he will enter his plea but it will be soon.  I can almost plan on it being not-guilty.  I think forgiveness would come easier if his plea were guilty.  He did it, he made a lot of poor decisions in his life, here's his chance to show us he's sorry, he knows he was wrong, he's holding himself accountable... he's guilty.  

I hope I'm pleasantly surprised.

We've come a very long way.  I never thought I'd get to where I am now.  It can only get better.  Perhaps I have forgiven him, or perhaps I have a long way to go.  Either way I'm proud of us.  We didn't lay down and die.  We are not going to live as victims.  We are survivors.  Justice will prevail. I can't wait for the trial to be over!


  1. Kelly,

    I am so sorry that you are having to go through this trial; I am so sorry that you have to re-live the loss of Colin for the rest of your lives, but I want to thank you that you are willing to take a stand to make sure this person never has the opportunity to harm another person, another child, and another family. I have followed your blog from the beginning; I admire your strength, your courage, and your ability to put your thoughts, tears, fears, and joys in writing. Thank you for sharing your lives with the rest of us...while I have never met you, your courage has inspired me to better person. My prayers are with you, your family, and your new little ones that are on the way.

  2. Kelly

    Great post. You put it so eloquently that the driver of the other vehicle had choices and HE CHOSE not to do things that would have helped his recovery. His incapacity is not your fault. Your family had NO choices when his vehicle came flying at you so good on you for ensuring he gets little choices now. Go girl!!

    M x

  3. You are right.
    He is wrong.

    End of story.

    Justice WILL prevail!!
    (No worries about the shirts--I will be happy to get it next week!)

  4. I'm proud of how far you have come. I agree with you. I believe you are right. There will always be things you cannot change. I pray this is one thing you won't want to change. I pray he is held accountable. I do know that we all reap what we sow. And I believe with all my heart that he will have to pay his dues. I am praying for you.

  5. Very eloquently said...never give up living the life. In the end, he will have to accountable to God for the lives he has hurt...I suppose we all will be accountable for the way we lived our lives. I'm proud of you too as are many of us who follow your blog. Some may say that forgiveness is easy but I don't think it is all that easy....it can be a very complicated issue. Stay strong and keep thinking good thoughts about your family, especially those 3 babies. When it is all said and done, your husband, your Colum, your Finn, your daughters and your family is all that matters. Whatever the court does or doesn't do to him should not change your resolve to be a happy family.

  6. Let him rot in jail and prison he had time to get help, and he didnt that is his own freiken fault you go girl love you xoxoxoxo

  7. I'm so proud of you and Ryan for working so hard at rebuilding your life. While it all sucks, I'm glad you are able to walk or waddle :) in and out of the courtroom while he has to be wheeled around. Its the little victories you have to focus on. I hope that justice will prevail and a jury of peers will find him guilty, even if he pleads otherwise. I'm hoping you will be pleasantly surprised and he will plead guilty. It's the least he can do now. Keep your head up and keep up the great work growing the baby girls.

  8. No one could have said that better then you! God bless you in all your efforts. You are doing the right ting!

  9. I'm not sure I could ever forgive someone for taking my child from me and I hope he spends the rest of his rotten life in jail so he can never hurt another person again. Maybe someday he will realize the full reality of what he did and I hope it haunts him forever!!!

  10. Forgiveness is difficult in and of itself even more difficult without accountability. I hope to never understand such a decision as the one you are having to make; to forgive the man who ultimately took your child's life. I can say this-forgiveness does heal and allows hearts and souls to be mended. I think that you are brave for coming as far as you have come and after reading your posts I know you are strong. I hope that comfort surrounds you as you enter the process of this trial and know that Collum is close to many hearts and people are constantly thinking of you and your family.

    1. I don't know why all of my post did not post. Forgiveness is not an easy road and can take years and possibly a lifetime. Thank you for your honesty in your feelings. I will be praying for your family.

  11. It makes it so much harder to forgive when the person that hurts you doesn't take responsibility for their actions.

    I have not been in your shoes....

    But I have attached these two videos which contain a two part story of a mom that stood in a smilar shoes (lost her child to a drunk driver) and her journey to forgiveness...

    maybe it will give you hope.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

  12. Stay strong, I am so proud of you all!! I love to read your posts, you are simply amazing!

  13. Kelly, that news story made me cry, too. To see pictures of Colum and Norah and to hear her mother talk about him passing through as Norah was having her close call made me so emotional. You have so much to proud of - to survive and thrive after such a loss is a testament to your strength. I hope you ARE pleasantly surprised when the trial begins so that you can continue to heal.

  14. Perhaps he thinks the wheelchair will earn the compassion of a jury. In his mind he is the victim, for every crime on each of those three pages. Addicts are selfish and hold everyone in their circle hostage. Being in the wheelchair also serves to create feelings of guilt within his mother. A grown child who refuses to be held accountable has a life long enabler for a parent. ANY grown child who lets their parents fight their battles, pay their way out of trouble, and always makes the parents feel guilt over their poor child's problems ( which always seem to be caused by others and NEVER their poor child) can probably never be convinced they are not the victim. The odds of him ever taking accountability or responsibility for his actions are slim.
    Shame on him, and especially his parents. I'm hoping for justice and for a strong judge and jury who will see through his selfish behavior and co-dependent parents.

  15. Kelly, I have written this post about thirty times and deleted and rewritten and deleted again.

    I am trying to be positive for you, you are an amazing, beautiful woman! You deserve Justice! I am so proud of you for even considering forgiveness, you are a better stronger person than I would be.

    You ARE a survivor, you are an example to me!! He took one of the most precious things from you, Sweet Colum and you are still you - stronger, better, bolder - you!!

    Thank you for letting me share in your story through your blog!! I think the world of you and will pray for you and your family during the trial. XOXO

  16. Kelly, this is so eloquently put. Forgiveness isn't black and White, it's more blurred grey and beige, lines that cross each other and is such a personal thing. He is accountable in so many ways and needs to be shown that he simply cannot live the way that he does without repercussions. He changed your family irrevocably and and you have had to slowly try to piece things together again. You have fought physically and he has done nothing. People need to stop enabling him, he used crystal meth and drove, that cannot be allowed to happen ever again. Your gorgeous family and everyone else using the roads deserves justice and peace of mind. Much love from ireland. Xx

  17. "He will never walk again because we are keeping him locked up so he can't go to physical therapy." How sad (eye roll).

    Heartbreaking is the fact your son is not with you because this same man decided to go for a drive hopped up on illegal drugs.

    I am not sure I could ever, ever forgive...

  18. I can't imagine having to deal with court, and what your family is experiencing. I'm really sorry, and hope it will go as well as it possibly can. Forgiveness can be hard, we lost our daughter in a drowning accident while my in-laws were babysitting. There were 10 adults supposedly watching her, and though I've forgiven all of them, there are still times when they make comments that bring the anger back. Your situation is incredibly difficult.

    I wanted to wish you well, I'm expecting twins, and I cannot imagine adding one more baby in there. I'm so uncomfortable, and have many times thought mothers of triplets deserve an award. Seriously. I'm counting down the weeks until I can deliver safely. Hang in there. What a blessing your girls will be!

  19. Forgiveness is a process and can be a very long and difficult one especially when the offenses are SO grievous. But I think it's a gift you give yourself and hasn't so much to do with the offending person, especially if they don't accept responsibility and/or deny their role in hurting anyone. The definitions are interesting, but I believe it is releasing yourself from carrying around the burden of hatred or the venom and bitterness that accompany that hate and anger. In many cases, it's meaningless to the offender whether you forgive them or not. But it matters a lot to you and your healing.

    You have been very mature and honest in your reaction to this guy. I think feeling some pity for him is a good start, because he is a pitiful, pathetic person. I don't fully understand how a person can summon up sufficient grace to forgive someone who has taken so much from you, your child, your health and comfort, your life as you knew it. Those are things that you would be reminded of daily. But it is worth the effort to take the journey to personal peace to rise above those bad feelings toward him and his mother. Bless you in your journey.

    I did a lot of reading about forgiveness, and one of the books that I really found compelling was The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal (a Holocaust survivor and lifelong Nazi hunter). I think I will send you a copy even though you probably don't have a lot of time to read. It's a book that you can pick up and put down and come back to. You just need to read the basic premise and then read the contributors' responses to the situation. It explores the concept of forgiving something "unforgivable" from the point of view of many different cultural and religious (and nonreligious) backgrounds. All so fascinating!

    My heart will be with you on July 22-23. Believe it or not, it will be another step in the healing process. Be sure to take care of yourself and recognize your limitations. #1 priority right now is Kelly and babies!! Love you!!

  20. I am unable to express my feelings on this subject. It is rare that I am speechless. As a person who has suffered great loss and tragedy in my life, I find forgiveness to be over rated. I am not sure who forgiveness is for. Does it make the victim feel better? In my case the victim is no longer around to voice an opinion. Does it make the survivors feel better, In my case I will never forgive. And the person who caused so much pain and sorrow, I hope they suffer every day. I don't consider my life to be filled with anger and resentment, just empty of the person I loved the most. People assume that forgiveness frees you but I don't find that to be the case. It doesn't make me any less of a person because I do not feel forgiveness for the scumbag that altered my life plan. Instead my life is filled with joy each day rearing the children left behind. My energy is better utilized on my family. The scumbag deserves nothing from me, not one iotta of energy required to forgive her. Our lives have moved on and we have peace. I can live with myself and that is all that counts. The only important thing is that Kelly not be stressed out at this very important time in her pregnancy. Please be blessed and keep your hands on the babies. Remember at all times that the babies are a precious gift. Who knows what will happen in court. The only focus needs to be on your family.

  21. Kelly,
    You don't know me but I have been reading your blog since a little bit before the accident. I have been so impressed with your honesty and heart felt account of your life and your feelings. So many blogs are prettied-up and never get to the real nitty gritty of how life really it. I love how you have shared your open and honest feelings with your blog readers.

    I think you have such a beautiful heart full of love. I think however you resolve these feelings in your heart will be the right thing for you. It is not something that you can put on a timeline. No one can understand the horrific wrong that has been done to you and your family. I think you are doing an amazing job...and I so admire your strength. It will be wonderful for the trial to be over and to have some sort of closure... So excited for all these new adventures you are on now, with your super cool house and the arrival of your sweet baby girls. Just know there are people all over the world sending you love and prayers. Thank you for being so amazing and real. Blessings to you and your sweet family. xoxo from Boston, MA

  22. Hi Kelly~

    We've never met. But I've been following your blog since I learned of your tragic accident. I've been hesitant to post this because my opinion differs from many. My question is this... why do you need to forgive him at all? I don't think you do. I was raised in a very religious, Utah Mormon family where forgiveness is a near daily topic of conversation. In adulthood I left the church and am now a happily, well-adjusted atheist. But religious roots often play into every facet of our lives, especially living in Utah. If you take God and religion out of it, why forgive? Some would say because the anger will eat away at you. I think that can be true, but at some point the anger will fade, it will not be so profound, regardless of if you "forgive" or not. He deserves no forgiveness. His actions repeatedly spoke for this. He has no accountability. If you feel you need to forgive in order to begin to heal, in order to move forward, then you can and should forgive. But if you're motivation for forgiveness is right vs wrong, being the bigger person, blah blah blah - F*** it. Don't forgive the bastard. Especially if he has already 'forgiven' himself. He should never forgive himself. This is something he should take full responsibility for and spend every day of his life regretting his horrible choices. He clearly has not done that and he's moved on, pitying himself only. Who says you need to forgive him, or that he deserves your forgiveness? I'd like to reiterate that if you do feel that it would help you (even a tiny bit) then do whatever you need to in order to forgive him, but don't forgive just for the sake of it.

    Good luck in this difficult time. I love following your pregnancy and reading your thoughts about life. I too am pregnant (due the beginning of October) and can't imagine trying to grow three little humans at once. You are truly remarkable.


  23. Even though I truly admire you for wanting to forgive this man, I don't think you should. He did something unspeakably horrible. He made a choice, he took a life, he put you and your husband through something tremendously painful, something I can't even imagine. And you absolutely do not have to forgive him for that. He doesn't deserve your forgiveness, not one little bit. Especially if he and his family act as though he did nothing wrong and everything is your fault. He is a very selfish person.

  24. Kelly, I believe you may have been gifted a necklace with your sons initials or names on them some time ago. Can you share the name of the company.

    1. It was from a company called the Vintage Pearl. :)

  25. Thank you for responding. I remembered it and wanted to buy one for my daughter on her birthday. I got one ordered and it is beautiful.

  26. Search

    Methamphetamine and driving impairment.


    Logan BK.


    J Forensic Sci. 1996 May;41(3):457-64.


    Washington State Toxicology Lab, Dept. of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98134, USA.


    Following a review of the effects of methamphetamine on human performance, actual driving and behavior were evaluated in 28 cases in which drivers arrested or killed in traffic accidents had tested positive for methamphetamine. The circumstances surrounding the arrest or accident were examined, together with any observations by the arresting officer regarding behavioral irregularities. The investigators also made a determination of culpability. Most of the arrests resulted from accidents in which the driver was determined to be culpable. Typical driving behaviors included drifting out of the lane of travel, erratic driving, weaving, speeding, drifting off the road, and high speed collisions. Behavioral manifestations of methamphetamine use in arrestees included rapid or confused speech, rapid pulse, agitation, paranoia, dilated pupils, violet or aggressive attitude. Combined alcohol and methamphetamine use was uncommon, however use of marijuana was evident in about one third of the cases. In addition to impairing judgment and increasing risk taking, the effects of withdrawal from methamphetamine use including fatigue, hypersomnnolence, and depression are likely contributors to many of these accidents. A consideration of the literature and the cases discussed here, leads to the conclusion that methamphetamine at any concentration is likely to produce symptoms that are inconsistent with safe driving.


     8656187 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Related Citations

    Show allThe effect of d-methamphetamine on simulated driving performance.The effect of d,l-methamphetamine on simulated driving performance.[Conditioned reflex inhibition therapy for women addicted to sex under the influence of methamphetamine].Methamphetamine and driving.Primary access to vehicles increases risky teen driving behaviors and crashes: national perspective.Standard PubMedNIH/NLM NCBI Copyright Help http://www.searchquotes.com/quotation/I_will_love_you_always._Whenthis_red_hair_is_white%2C_I_will_stilllove_you._When_the_smoothsoftn/444876/Iraq

  27. I honestly think he should be convicted for life! You may forgive but never forget... And thats why its so hard to forgive in the first place! He should pay for what he has done... To forgive comes from the heart! And its had to do that when you have lost a piece of.your heart! :/ we love you and look up to you guys!!!!