::pack:: of fixations

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



I received an email from a probation officer 3-4 days before the girls were born.  There was some paperwork that needed to be filled out and we needed to write letters to the judge as soon as possible.  I cried for days straight.  Yes, I was pregnant and emotional but going back there emotionally was not something I wanted to do.  It's a tough thing to juggle the happiness with the sad at the same time.  Like oil and water, sometimes they just don't mix.  I'd been doing better at crying less and I know too well that for me once it starts it doesn't stop for days or even weeks.

I locked myself in my room and wrote the letter and what I wanted to say at the sentencing the day before I had the triplets.  I knew I had to, for after having a baby I'm completely brain dead for an entire year.  It took me 3 hours and I left out a lot.  I wanted them to hear how this had effected us.  The trial process is all about the defendant and the sentencing is all about the victims.  So it was our time to speak our pain.

I didn't expect to get to finally hear the evidence that we did.  The prosecutor Sandi (who is the best of the best) spoke first and here are some of the key points that I can remember:

*It was found that his vehicle was traveling 78 mph (not 60 mph like we originally guessed), uphill and his foot never came off the gas pedal.

*The state of Utah had tried to rehabilitate him at least 6 times.  It was documented that one of the times he didn't show up for detox he told his probation officer that he wouldn't go because, "he didn't want to be in there with all the drunks and heroine addicts".  Many many failed urine tests where before taking them he said he was clean and upon failing them he would admit his use.

*His cell phone that he allegedly had dropped on the floor and was allegedly the cause of the accident was actually found in the center console of his Suburban. 

*The toxicologists can actually pinpoint if he was actually "high" on Meth or not at the time of the accident.  There are active substances found in the blood and they can pinpoint his usage within hours.  It does stay in your system for 1-3 days after your last usage in a urine test but a blood test is more accurate.  So HE WAS ACTUALLY HIGH ON METH WHEN HE HIT US.

*There was a long history of lies and more lies told by Ainsworth.

*His Mom called the prosecutor a few days before the sentencing saying that she'd given him some Sudafed (Christmas Eve) that he reminded her of and that this was all her fault.  I believe his Mother has truly believed every lie he has told her his entire life.  Here is some of his families statements that I copied from this news story (click here to read it):

The Ainsworths
After the sentence was pronounced, Ainsworth's daughter Amy yelled, "I love you, dad," before running out of the courtroom.
"I feel for (the Pack) family," daughter Sierra Ainsworth, 28, said after the hearing with tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Losing her would kill me," she said, referring to her 1-year-old daughter who she was holding in her arms.
The Packs lost a son, she said, and now she has lost her father. She takes her daughter to visit her grandfather once a month. He has never held her, she said, and now he never will.
Judy Rhees, Ainsworth's mother, said she never expected her son to receive a sentence of up to 45 years behind bars.
"I can't imagine losing a child, but this is going to be hell," she said.

I think a lot of his families statements speak for themselves.  Since the beginning I predicted a Co-dependant Mother and her drug addict son.  I know that may sound harsh but I was right.  I haven't experienced having a child with a drug problem and I pray that I never have to.  Up until the accident that was my very worst fear, now it is my second.  I can empathize with Mother's and family members who are going through this as I think most people can.  But the truth is the Mother's and the family members also need to seek help.  Addiction effects the entire family.

Co-dependency is also an addiction, an illness, a disease.  
As hard as it is you have to break free of the cycle and get professional help for yourself and help on how to handle these types of situations.  It's all to easy to try and baby your addict child to compensate for your own pain and guilt.  It doesn't make you a bad parent or mean that you love your child any less if you make a change, see it for what it is, and learn how to change the situation.  
I'm very passionate about this subject, especially now.  Please if you are a parent or a family member of an addict and find yourself enabling the situation in any way please get help.  You can't change them.  But by handling it the right way you won't be making easier for them any longer.  There's usually a lot of manipulation and lies involved and it's time to wake up and see it for what it is.  
I know it's not easy but please be honest with yourself, it may prevent another tragedy like ours.

Most addicts have a victim mentality.  They are good at playing the victim to justify their behavior.  This is why I refuse to be a victim and why I am choosing to be a survivor.  I refuse to live my life that way...REFUSE!  That's no way to honor Colum.  I honor him by moving forward and by trying to live happily and I'm doing my best everyday.  I'm still sad, it will never go away.  But I'm honoring him.  
I love you Colum!  We did it!

***if anyone has any personal stories about how they have overcome addiction or enabling an addict please share below!  let us support each other through and be open about this problem.  if you've been through this and conquered it, I am so proud of you!


  1. My sister died of a drug overdose at age 47, leaving behind 8 children and a useless ex-husband. She had become a manipulative con artist to support her addiction, and everything you mentioned in your post is true. If the addict can't manipulate you, then you are no longer a resource for drugs or money and they will cut you off. That is hard because you want to help them overcome the addiction, but to stay in their life, they insist you enable them. I have spent since 1997 trying to be a mother to those 8 kids. I love them just as much as my own children, and I try to give them my love, my time and my attention.
    Kelly, you have handled this court case with such grace, resolve and courage, and yet most of us know what heartache and trauma it has caused you and Ryan. I hope now you can just soak up the joy of those beautiful baby girls. I don't know that I would have handled Ainsworth's family as well as you have. I think I would be too tempted to grab them by the shoulders, shake them viciously and scream "what part of "HE GOT HIGH, CRASHED INTO A FAMILY, KILLED A TODDLER, MAIMED HIS PARENTS, AND MADE THEM PAY FOR IT ALL" don't you get? If he was released any time in the next 20 years, he would go back to his old ways, getting high and driving and blaming everyone else. After spending 16 years seeing the wreckage that my sister's addiction caused in her children's lives, my patience with enablers is gone.
    Love your family bunches and gobs. Post pictures whenever you can. I can guarantee we all check your blog and Instagram daily for updates on those yummy girls and Finn.

  2. You did do it and you look absolutely fantastic for delivering triplets kelly i am so happy for you, ryan and finn and column, live your life and know he hurt and traumatized your family and now he can rot in hell. Got to jump in the shower but more to come.

  3. I typed a long rambling response but decided short and sweet was the best route. We are proud of you two for your grace under fire. Way to go and may God speed your in your beautiful journey forward.

  4. That man shouldn't be allowed to hold his granddaughter, obviously!! Are we supposed to feel bad for him based on his daughter's statement? You don't do drugs and kill a toddler and then get to enjoy life as a grandpa. That whole family is a bunch of ENABLERS. When you commit a crime like he did, you spend the rest of your life rotting in prison. Its called JUSTICE.

  5. "This is why I refuse to be a victim and why I am choosing to be a survivor. I refuse to live my life that way...REFUSE! That's no way to honor Colum. I honor him by moving forward and by trying to live happily and I'm doing my best everyday. I'm still sad, it will never go away. But I'm honoring him"

    These words speak volumes to me. My daughter did not die in the same circumstances but these words speak volumes to me. They speak through my grief and into my heart. .

  6. You are honoring Colum every day! I am so proud of you!

  7. You and your husband are very strong and admirable people.

    I am glad that man will spend the rest of his life in jail. He apparently had many chances to clean up and turn his life around. Pity he wasn't locked up sooner. Happy that you and your husband can put him and the legal stuff to rest and move on.

  8. I am so proud of you for writing what needed to be said, even though holy crap how hard would that be. And emotional. And ridiculous you had to go through it. But you did. And you are amazing. Now go enjoy your girls some more with more peace in your heart!

  9. (I'm writing this at midnight so it may not come out exactly as I want it to but I am not trying to hurt anyone or say anything disrespectful, please understand that and know that I am glad that Ainsworth is finally locked up and can't hurt anyone else like this again)
    First I want to say that I admire your strength to move forward with your family despite Column not being with you all. I just had two miscarriages and I am broken from it. I can't imagine how much harder it would have been if I had ever met my babies, let alone parent them then have them taken away. I wouldn't be able to do what you and your family is able to do and I could write so much more but it all boils down to your strength, love and ability to march forward and be a survivor.
    On another note- my little brother (well he is 17 so, not so little) was just released from drug rehab yesterday after 65 long days of rehab, 8 months of intensive outpatient rehab, over 2 years of using various drugs and 3 trips to the ER for his various drug overdoses. I have not been invited to the family therapy sessions required by the various rehab places and am struggling to set my limits with him. I thank you for sharing your story so that hopefully this won't happen again with my little brother behind the wheel of a car. The reason I was moved to comment was because of the other comments on here. Particularly the comments about the granddaughter and daughter. When things like "He doesn't deserve to hold his granddaughter" are being said I think that there is another perspective that isn't being taken into account here- the granddaughter who will never get to know her grandfather. And to me, that is sad. So before saying terrible things about his family members people should know that just because my brother is a drug addict does not mean that I did anything wrong or think that his actions are acceptable. I struggle with what to do on a daily basis and at the end of the day his actions are not my fault because I am not enabling him. If my brother dies at 20 and my future kids dont get to know their uncle yeah he may have screwed up majorly and killed himself but that is not my future children's fault and it hurts me that people are not seeing it in that way. Everyone involved in this horrific event is hurting, especially your family, Kelly. I just wanted to bring a little light to an often overlooked perspective because I know that the grandaughter and daughter are hurting too and it is not their fault that this horrible thing happened.
    But enought about that. Go spend some snuggle time with those beautiful little girls!

    1. I'm sorry but anyone with a history like Ainsworths wouldn't be someone I would have my chikdren around....unless he actually got clean. Even if it were a grandparent. Just because someone is family doesn't make you obligated to keep shit in your life.

  10. I think you're brilliant! Truly astonishing and admirable! Keep honouring Colum just the way you are.

  11. In Nov of 2011, the day before Thanksgiving I was laying in bed thinking about the pies I would take to family pie night later. My phone rang and it was my mother, I figures she wanted to talk about pies. She was calling to tell me my sister and her husband had been in an accident. We found out someone was driving the wrong way on the freeway and hit them almost headon. A police officer was just getting ready to stop her so help was there immediatly. My sister had a head injury, a compound broken femur on the right, her left hip ball was shoved through her pelvis, her left knee and ankle were broken, her right wrist was broken. My brother-in-law had a lacerated liver, broken ribs, and both ankles severely broken. He is still on disability, my sister walks with a limp and is going back into surgery in Nov. to remove some of her metal. They will never be the same. The little girl in the back seat (not related) was miraculously ok. The lady who hit them was of course drunk. She never accepted any responsibility or even received a ticket. I know her insurance paid some bills but ir will never cover their true costs. As I read your story I was reminded of hers. I am so sorry you lost your son. I have always been passionate about drunk driving. Our society allows thousands to die needlessly. People are not held responsible. It sickens me. We need to put these people in jail. It is not an accident. I am sad for his family yes but they act as if its your fault hes going to jail. I don;t understand that. I have had family members in legal trouble and I felt they needed punished. I am glad justice was served for your family. If he was truly distracted that would be one thing. But dui are not. I love reading about your family. I am so happy for you with your girls. They are beautiful.

  12. My husband was introduced to various hard core drugs while on the job site out of state. I honestly have no idea how long he had used before he was no longer able to cover his addiction. My husband wasn't scum. He was educated, a great husband and a great father. But then the evil came to live at our house.He didn't come home when he was expected back from a job and who knows where he was and what he was doing. Then he started laying out every time a paycheck was due. He would binge and sleep it off somewhere and eventually show up with my allowance for the household. Then he just didn't come home at all. He didn't answer pages or phone calls. Lets talk about the enabler issue. I wouldn't wish this journey on my worse enemy. When do you turn your back on your husband and best friend ? Those are difficult questions and even harder answers. How much do you stand behind your man with support before you abandon him? This was a nightmare from hell. He lived it and I walked it.There were drug dealers and prostitutes. Then we have all the consequences of his actions. These are written as they pour from my heart in no particular order. He lost his job. I lost my home. My car was repossessed. My credit was ruined. There were many joint accounts I could not pay. My heart was broken. There were tickets and criminal charges. Fines , fees, jail and probation officers. I bailed in the middle of it, living in a one bedroom with two children and pregnant with his son. ( Not all of us hang around to enable ). The system seemed to be broken. At his lowest he reached out for help and their was little available. Of course our insurance was gone when he was fired. Facilities wanted thousands of dollars a day for treatment plans. The county mental health system was a joke. They opened up more cans of worms than he was able to deal with. I will never justify his behavior. I am stating facts .In the end, I had a psychiatrist at a private facility tell me that the success rate for rehabilitation was almost zero. I chose to believe him and I walked away in the middle of the night to protect my children. When it was all said and done, he took a rifle and blew his head off. His suicide was just another selfish act on his part. After all I had suffered, the pain and guilt from his suicide was unbearable. I am the first to say that pain will not kill you. It is now 12 years later and I realize his death was sadly the best thing he could have done for me and the children. He would have continued to spiral out of control and I can only imagine the visitation issues I would have had with the court.I am grateful that he never hurt or killed anyone. including myself and our children. The simple fact is there is not anything simple about loving a drug addict. If you have never dealt with drug abuse don't be so quick to judge those of us who were taken along for the ride. I think his sentence was fair and am happy he received it. Kelly has never written a word where I did not cry. I think justice should have been served quicker than it was. Life is often unexpected and sometimes no matter how you try, you have no control. Be blessed Pack family. Once again life is a shade brighter.

  13. I've got nothing.
    Nothing but love, and hugs, and celebration for the justice that prevailed.
    Proud of all of you.

  14. You are awe-inspiring as is your husband. You did it...and might I say with such strength and resolve. I admire you and your husband for taking a stand against an individual who chose his own destiny for doing meth and causing such heartache. Of course as a mother we want to defend our kids but.....this mother is going about it the wrong way. They did NOT lose their father/grandfather. He made choices that made them be separated. It is HELL? I don't think they have a clue what hell is. Hell is....well you already know. But now you have a piece of heaven in your home...your precious Finn and those beautiful daughters. LIVE!! LIVE like every day is a treasure....that is what Colum would want and it will tell others that living a good and happy life is something that man cannot and will not take away from you!! Many thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hopefully it will help someone who has to deal with addition in their life. Maybe, just maybe it will change someone's mind on how addition destroys lives and they will have the strength to give it up. I have two close family members who struggle with addition...it is hard to deal with when it is someone you love about but after reading your story, I can't and won't become an enabler. Thanks for your honesty too.

  15. While I am so happy for the Pack family...and hope this will be such good closure for you...and I, too, feel that justice was and should be served, I understand what Kathryn is saying (in the above comment). While I agree that the mother sounds like an enabler, I don't think the daughter sounds at all like one ( as some of the comments seem to suggest)...to me she sounds like a daughter who is sad that her little girl won't be able to know her grandfather the way she wanted her too. And the only one to blame for that is Ainsworth, and I think the daughter knows that. I don't think she blames the Packs at all, I'm sure she knows her father and knows he is the only one to blame, but I think she still has a right to be sad. But I am glad he didn't just get a slap on the wrist...all of our choices have consequences and all of us have to live with those consequences. And I'm grateful he is off the streets. Kelly...I hope everything is going good with those cute babies and Finn and that you are getting some sleep (:

  16. Once again, I am amazed by you and your family. I come from a long line of addicts and enablers, and I myself have enabled. I am done with that. My father died from years of drug and alcohol use and thank the Lord, he never killed anyone but himself. My husband has struggled with PTSD and addiction for years also and just recently stopped because he finally saw what it was doing to his marriage, his children and his body. He does still struggle with the want. I just want to tell you that you are such an inspiration and I can't wait to see those little girls grow and learn. God Bless you.

  17. Sorry....spell check must have fixed "addiction" to addition in my comment!!

  18. kelly, Im so so so so beyond happy with how things turned out. you are amazing at dealing with all this! Im super excited you posted our cute pic.. How are the girls?? email me so we can chat and keep up! Hope all is well...
    :) Karli

  19. It all comes down to choices. No one forces these people to do drugs....they CHOOSE to. I get so incredibly tired of everyone standing up for the addict and making them the victim. The truth is, those of us that have to live with them in our lives are the victims. Sure, they may get jail time, but that seems like a walk in the park compared to the mental anguish that they put us through. Not to mention the stealing and lying. I also don't want to be associated with anyone who does drugs because I don't want their dealer to come looking for me and my family when they haven't been paid. Sometimes tough love is the best love and an addict won't get clean until it, or suicide, is the only option they have. To all of you "enablers" out there.....QUIT FEELING GUILTY! THEIR ACTIONS ARE NOT YOUR FAULT...THEY ARE CHOICES THAT THEY HAVE MADE! End of rant. Your babies are adorable and I'm so happy for you! I hope that you feel Colum close to you always.

  20. My dad was an alcoholic until August 2011. It took alcohol poisoning and a near death experience from the dehydration, and loss of electrolytes alcoholism causes for him to realize he needed to stop. He stayed in the hospital for four days and has been sober ever since.