Friday, January 30, 2015

Driving While High/Stoned/Drunk

Everyone knows the danger of driving while intoxicated, high or stoned. Maybe just call it driving under the influence, no matter the intoxicant.

As a parent, we of course got our son a car when was in high school just as many other parents do every day. He was a good student and we wanted him to have the chance to be mobile and date. We were good parents.....????

What happens when you get your child a car and you know they are addicted to drugs or alcohol? They will drive. They will drive under the influence. Do not fool yourself dad and mom, it will happen.

Just like us, they will drive that car you technically own. Your name is on the title, the insurance is likely in your name. Your child is under 18, or maybe that car is in your name when your adult addicted child is driving under the influence.

What difference does it make? I can't stop them from using, I can't stop them from driving under the influence.

My story, my son drove under the influence. I began to realize one day he was going to have a serious accident under the influence of drugs. The car was titled to me. He was over 18 years old and driving a car titled to me and the insurance was in my name. I knew he was an addict and I knew he was PROBABLY driving under the influence.

What if he had an accident and hurt himself or hurt someone else? I knew he was driving under he influence. How much ownership did I have if he did hurt someone? How much of it did I own financially and morally?

I come to the realization that morally I would suffer long if he hurt someone. I owned that, I knew he was an addict and I gave him the keys, even though he was not using at the time, it was "his" truck.

What would my financial liability be if he hurt someone seriously and the vehicle and insurance was in my name and I knew he was an addict? For me, I am not an attorney, but it isn't a stretch to see an attorney putting financial culpability on my actions and negligence.

Dad and Mom, what should you do if your child is addicted to drugs and driving "your" vehicle?

What I did was take MY vehicle back. Told my son that I could not allow him to expose me to that much risk if he was using drugs and driving under the influence. I was NOT prepared to risk losing my retirement, IRA, house and everything I own because he was driving under the influence and I knew he did that regularly. I told him I could not live with myself if he killed or hurt someone seriously while he was driving under the influence.

He wasn't being punished. I established my own boundaries. I didn't say YOU can't drive my car. I said I would not assume that risk of him driving my car. "I" means boundary, "You" means rule.

Took the truck away and it sat parked for two years until I sold it. I told my son he could buy the truck from me simply by coming up with the money to have titled in his name and to do that he needed to buy insurance and pay property taxes. We all know if an addict can  scrape up that much money it isn't going to the county and state to register a vehicle.  LOL

Do your want real evidence my scenario and logic is real then read this article published in The Kansas City Star on Wednesday January 28, 2015.

"Family of Man Hit by Teen Driver Sues, Cites Drinking Issue".

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 20, 2009

I just read that Annette posted about her hitting the mark of 800 blog posts. Congratulations Annette, thank you for sharing your life and wisdom.

Her post made me remember that my blog recently celebrated an anniversary. On January 20, 2009 I began writing this blog.

When I think back I recall why I began writing. I began writing because there was nothing left for me to try. I had gone to counseling, rehab, gone to Nar-Anon, NA, AA, and Al-Anon meetings, I had talked to friends and talked, screamed and cursed at my beautiful wife, nothing worked for ME. I began writing to save my life.

The lesson learned for me was that each of us must keep working to find our own answers for ourselves. Writing was my answer.

Six years later, thank you all for reading. Thank you all for commenting. I owe you all a debt that can never be repaid.

There are people reading this blog since I began writing. I know there are parents just now finding that they are not alone in this terrible journey. For all of us we do what we must and hope that peace can find us in some way. I hope that in some way I have shared my experiences that have helped someone.

I don't know what the future holds. Today my son is clear and sober. There was a day when we did not believe there was hope. Do not write the end of the story until the story is finished.

Where there is life there is hope.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

You Are NEVER Alone

My last post was about a son that was buried. A mother wrote me to tell me about her loss.

My heart ached and a shiver run up my spine thinking about how close and how many times we feared that we would bury our son.

Evidence to the title of my post comes in many ways.

Last week another mother that said she had been reading my blog for years wrote a personal e-mail to me. In that e-mail she told me how she lost her son under similar circumstances in February 2013. She told me how their lives were shattered and to this day they are heartbroken. She told me how they still feel guilty and feel they are damaged irreparably.

With all of those feelings this mother's final thought and message was to put her contact information in that e-mail and ask me to forward it to the mother who lost her son last week. She wanted to make sure this mother had someone that was walking in her shoes to talk to if she needed someone.

No matter where each of us are in this journey, WE ARE NEVER ALONE.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tragic News

Today a son was buried.

A regular reader of this blog messaged me to tell me that last week her son died from an overdose. She found him in their home.

I cannot fathom the pain and grief a parent experiences in this reality. There are no words in the English language to express the hurt we all feel for a family experiencing this heartache.

Hugs go out to this family. There is nothing more I or we can do. The monster takes life from not only a young man but from an entire family.

Every day parents of addicts live with this fear. For a parent, every second of life is lived on a razor thin edge. It is so tragic as young people fall to this scourge. My heart aches.

If love was enough to stop the monster addiction would be nothing more than a memory.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

An End of Year Update

Many regular and long time readers may have noticed that there was no attempt at humor on my blog this holiday. For those not initiated you an go back and read other posts from right before Christmas. This year it has been more about a quiet appreciation for me.

Today is my birthday and the last day of 2014. Today I give pause to the pace of the holiday celebrations to think about what was and what is.

For those parents still embroiled daily in the chaos simply because you love someone that is addicted; give pause and count your blessing that no matter how bad it can be there are parents out there that would give their last breath simply to hold their child one more time. Where there is life there is hope. I am not trying to minimize your pain and anguish. Your pain is real, I know that pain in your heart. My point is that life today is not life tomorrow. I stand in awe every time I see my son. I know that in 2010 I had nearly give up son for dead. I could not find the hope to allow me to imagine the possible. I was drowning in the probable. When you find yourself in the pain I had come to accept step back and take care of yourself, you are not alone.

Today I have learned to appreciate the day. I was always looking towards tomorrow and did not allow myself to appreciate the gift of NOW. I was the guy that when a task needed to be done I did it because I could get it done so much faster myself. Grandchildren have taught me that slowing down, handing a grandchild a wrench and allowing a 2, 3 and 6 year old to fumble as I watch can create pleasure and satisfaction rather than impatience.

I have learned that what I am is what others had allowed me to become. I have resigned my job and today as I stood in front of a group of nearly 50 people in the break room I looked at these great people, most of them I hired, and I knew my success was the result of their success. None of us are islands in wild and angry sea. Every island is connected to every other piece of land in the whole world. There may be turbulent seas separating us at times but when you dive deep enough there is one big rock connecting each of us no matter the differences.

Today I have everything in the world I need. No presents required or allowed for this birthday boy. There are people in my life that love me, probably more than I deserve. There are untold numbers of people I love. I am one of the luckiest persons alive to be able to be connected this way to so many people. So many of you that read this blog carried me when I could not walk. I already have everything in the world I need. Thank you.

Happy New Year to All

Thursday, December 18, 2014

That Time of Year

As the first first snowfall of the season blankets Kansas City there brings a feeling of peace for the season in me. Although I am not a religious person I appreciate this time of year. When traditionally a feeling of peace and love is suppose to overtake us all and sweep everyone into a blissful state good cheer it doesn't always happen that way for all.

Parents of an addict know how painful it is during the holiday season. Our expectations lead us to imagine this perfect season. We ache for that time before the monster of addiction invaded our family. Then all of a sudden reality snaps us back to the heartache of a loved one afflicted with this terrible disease.

On another blog long ago, I don't remember who said it but I have always remembered the thought. "An expectation is nothing more than a premature disappointment." When I first read that I remember thinking to myself what a sad life that must be to be a parent that believes something like that to be true. Like I said, that was a long time ago. As I lived I learned more about myself and more about addiction, no longer is that phrase sad, that phrase is freedom.

This holiday can be a time of peace for parents of an addict as long as we remember to accept what is given and accept that our loved one is suffering from the disease of addiction.

Addiction takes no holiday. Share your love, share the holiday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thank You, My Brother

This post isn't addiction related but is an important event in my life and I would like to share it with all of you. Below is what my brother posted on his Facebook page today.

Today I take my boots off and hang my helmet up for the last time. Myself and my fellow firefighters have been in fires we never should have been but, all houses are occupied until proven differently. I have seen newborn babies take their first breath and some people take their last. I have carried people and animals out of fires with hopes that they take another breath. I have seen people that have lost everything and then say, we will be OK because we still have each other! To my sons that said they always worried about me, you don't have to worry anymore. I have made life long friends and if I have offened any fellow fire fighters, I was just trying to make you a better fire fighter and public servants. To my fellow fire fighters, please be safe and always go home to your families when your shift is over. So with that said: After 31 yrs. of service that I will never forget or regret......Battilion Chief Brian Grover....Out of service!!!

Thank you my brother for all that you have done for so many.



My brother with my daughter and two grandchildren

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Please Give Me 18 Minutes

If you have an addict loved one in your home please take 18 minutes to watch this video.

If you have not heard of or know what the CRAFT approach can do to help you and your loved one then you need to set aside just a few minutes for this introduction.

For any of you that are at the end of your rope then change your approach.

Be sure to watch both chapters.

Getting an Addict into Treatment: The CRAFT Approach



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What's Thanksgiving to the Parent of and Addict?

What a question. What does the parent of an addict have to be thankful about?

I remember the horrors of holidays. It seems no matter the occasion Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays or anything that was special to our family our son while he was using found a way to bring heartache and sorrow to the occasion.

Why couldn't he just be OK for one day? Why do we have to have every holiday and special occasion ruined? These were the constants in our life.

Looking back it is easy to remember these events. A son showing up on Christmas Eve while we were walking out the door. Drug dealers delivering heroin to our home on Christmas Eve as casually as a pizza delivery person. Thanksgiving not being able to rouse him to join us for lunch. Going down to a prison located 125 miles away on Thanksgiving eve to pick him up after being released. Every holiday was an event.

The perspective of time and distance allows me to understand most all of our anguish and hurt was self imposed. We EXPECTED what was impossible to be delivered. My son was an addict. My son was addicted to drugs and I didn't understand addiction and what it meant.

My son suffered from the disease of addiction. He did what addicts do and all that is expected of an addict. He used drugs no matter what I wanted or expected. My heartache and anger was self imposed. I expected from him something he didn't have to give. At least not at that time.

If your loved one is suffering from addiction accept the reality of what IS and don't play a game with yourself of OUGHT to be able to be good for one day.

Secrets from a father about for surviving a holiday with an addicted loved one would include:

  • Temper your holiday expectations. 
  • Accept what is given.
  • Love with no return expectation.
  • Do not expect something from someone that they do not have to give.
  • Inside there is still a person. You loved them all their life, do not forget.
  • Where there is life there is hope. Look around you and see the life.
Never stop believing. Tomorrow my son will be joining us with his family. Hugs will be shared. We will give thanks to all and each other. 6 years ago if anyone would have told me this day would come I would have thought they were crazy. Never stop believing in yourself or others.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Another Mother

Another mother writing and trying to make sense of this chaos that we call Parent of an Addict.

Please visit, say hi and offer a hug.

The Addict In My Basement

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More Parents Learning

Another mother has begun writing a blog in an effort to help themselves with learning how to be the parents of an addict. Please welcome her and help with your wisdom.

My Son's Drug Use - One Mom's Story

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peace in the Woodshop

I know why I was able to find peace in my workshop while my son was using.

In my shop I have a Coping Saw.


I know, I know, it's a dumb joke but it works for me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Are You A Fixer?

The absolute worst thing that can happen to a fixer happened to me this week. This week the hard drive in my computer crashed. I am not a techie but that never stopped someone that is a fixer. YouTube is like crack and meth combined to a fixer.

Off came the back of my Macbook. Screws were laying all over the table. Why stop at replacing a hard drive, why not change the battery too, it's old and getting fire hot when I use the computer too. So old parts laying on the kitchen table, new parts installed now it is off to the Genius Bar to get an operating system loaded. Everything works and the installation of an operating system was free.

This is like mainlining for a fixer. My computer is working again, except that I didn't get a big enough hard drive. So more "fixing" will be in order.

Why would this be important to write about on a blog about addiction? Because us "fixers" don't stop at computers, cars, plumbing, electrical wiring and on and on. We believe deep in our soul that we can fix our addicted loved one too.

There is a world of difference between diagnosing a problem, watching a YouTube video, picking up a screwdriver and replacing the right parts and "fixing" our loved one.

It took this "fixer" years to learn that no matter what I tried and how much "control" I thought I had there is no "fixing" another person until they want to fix themselves.

The worst thing that can happen to us fixers is we dive in the shallow end head first and swim away triumphant. We get that Superman complex and all it does is handicap us when real problems confront us.

It is important we ALL understand our limits and boundaries. Sometimes a "fixer" needs to be a "supporter".

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Parent Support Network

The Partnership for Drugfree Kids has launched a very successful program to help parents of addicts. This is the program I went to New York last year to be trained in the charter group of parents to help others.

The Partnership is looking for more great parents to take part in this groundbreaking and highly successful program. This time the training is coming to you.

If you are in the New Orleans, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Boston areas they are looking for parents to train and take part in helping parents all over the country.

If you have an interest in learning more go to this information page and survey to inquire. From personal experience, you won't be sorry and you won't ever meet a better group of people devoted to helping others. The personal rewards of helping other parents navigate through the hell we have all experienced is rewarding
beyond measure.

Parent Support Network Info and Survey page.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Aid Kit for Parents of Addicts

As I walk around my work I see first aid kits on the wall. In many stores, arenas, airplanes you see a heart defibrillator. Driving down the street I pass fire stations and police stations. There are urgent care centers and hospitals. Everywhere I see people, places and emergency kits for people in crisis.

As the parent of an addict where do we turn for our crisis? What do we do when you don't know what to do? Where is our first aid? Who comes to us with lights flashing, sirens screaming and emergency technicians?

Our help is left to us. It's up to us to seek our own treatment, diagnose, what is hurting us and then prescribe our own treatment. Who has a first aid kit for parents of an addict hanging on their wall? Has anyone even seen one before? I haven't seen one yet so I thought maybe we should create our own.

If I had to create my own first aid kit for parents of addicts here are some of the things I would stock.


  • A list of things that no matter what bring joy in my life. 
  • Phone numbers of people that have walked in my shoes that never turn off their phone.
  • Pictures of me in my lifeboat
  • Emergency phone numbers of help lines that can help me or my child.
  • Probably a piece of chocolate.
  • Six inspirational sayings or quotes that speak to me deep inside each time I see them.
  • Reminders: take a deep breath, it's OK to cry, you are not alone, the sun will rise again in the morning.
  • A list of people that love me unconditionally, that know I need them and they don't judge me.
These are some things I would consider essential in a first aid kits for the parent of an addict. What have I forgotten? What else would you add the the kit?

 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Self Care and Schools

Last year when The Partnership at Drug-Free kids brought me to New York to be a part of a new program I was honored and thrilled. Unfortunately, this year at work has not allowed me to be able to help my team. I feel I am not contributing but I am trying to do what I can. I did speak to a couple parents recently but I have not been able to take new assignments.

During training last year "self care" was stressed. It was emphasized about how stressful it is for parents living the life as a parent of and addict, as if we all didn't know. But time has an effect to dull the unpleasant memories to life's daily stress. They also stress how critical it was for us to practice self care because taking on coaching with parents can put us in an unhealthy place too. It's not just parents in the heat of battle that need to take care of themselves.

Thursday and Friday I had a chance to practice a little self care. Some may not see this as self care but for me it charges my batteries. Standing in front of a bunch of people talking about parenting an addict strikes terror in some but for me it is cathartic.

It's amazing to me how interested students are in my story. They listen intently, ask questions and share their own stories. One class actually applauded when I said my son has been clear and sober since July 2010. By the end of the talk I really believe some of them may be emotionally invested in our story.

The stories and tears students share after class when they want to talk breaks my heart. So many thank me with shaking voices. They pick up cards with my phone number and e-mail address. They know they are no longer alone and there is a hand for them to take if they need to talk.

Parents also attend and share with me after class

For me this is self care. Not to discount a tall cold iced drink on a beach watching waves lap at the sand isn't nice, but nothing turbo charges me like speaking to people and seeing their faces when they realize that they no longer have to be alone.

Wish I could find a paying gig like this, I'd work cheap.

Just a teaser for all of you out there wondering what I do in these classes. The video production class at the high school decided my talks should be a class project. During one class they had four cameras at different places in the room recording my talk along with a person taking stills with a DSLR. They are going to take all of the video and stills and try putting it together into a "professional" type video/presentation. I'm sure the students will do a great job and could do much better if they just had a better person speaking.  lol  When it is done I hope to share it with all that want to see.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Starting School Talks Again

It's that time again, I am getting requests from teachers to speak to their students about drugs and addiction. This I do gladly as long as they will have me. Sometimes it's tough balancing work and time off to do these talks but they are a priority for me.

One thing I have found is that the more parents that attend it seems to have a bigger impact. What's really hard is if I were a parent of a student in high school I probably wouldn't have gone either.

After all, MY KID WOULD NEVER DO THIS!

This time Susan Mayberry, the teacher sent out this e-mail blast to every parent. I really hope there is a packed house and we are scrambling to get more parents in the room.


Dear Parents and Family Members,

Each semester in our Health Science "A" course, we cover the topic of addiction. Within this curriculum topic we invite a community member into visit with our students. 

Mr. Ron Grover will be presenting on Thursday, September 18, 2014 from NOON until 1:15pm. He will also be speaking on Friday, September 19th, 2014 from 9:10am-10:38am, and again from NOON until 1:15pm. 


We are inviting you and your family to attend one of these presentations. Mr. Grover will speak with our Health Science "A" students (your child) in regard to what it is like if a person chooses to use drugs. What this will look like, and be, from a parent's perspective.

Mr. Grover volunteers as a Parent Ambassador for The Partnership at Drugfree.org and also has his person blog, http://parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com/ that shares several accounts of what it is like to live with an addict.

We hope that you can attend one of the three opportunities listed above. For seating purposes, please email me with your name, WHEN you plan to attend, and the number of persons you are bringing.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

We are looking forward to Mr. Grover's presentation. No question in regard to his family and addiction is out-of-bounds. This is a SAFE environment in which to ask questions or listen to the truth about what drugs do to a person and his/her family.

Sincerely,

Susan D. Mayberry
Health Science "A" Teacher! smayberry@usd458.org


If you are in the Kansas City area and want to hear this let me know. You can be my guest.
page1image17520

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Has Addiction Done FOR You

Maybe it's just me but I am a believer that in every experience in life there is a good. At times addiction tested that belief. How do you find good inside what I have described and many others have agreed is hell on Earth?

Parenting a child addicted to drugs is hellish. Sleepless nights, fear of the next minute, hopelessness deep in your heart, that is what we all live as our child is suffering. How can there be good in such a world?

I am not trying to anger some when you think, "sure it's easy when your son is clear and sober now?"

My personal belief is good can be found in anything if we look hard enough and seek the answers we need to help ourselves and our children.

Looking back and answering a simple question has helped me. That simple question is, "What have I learned?"

I learned to be a better father. I no longer took my kids for granted. Perfection is not fair to put on your kids or to put on yourself either.

I learned that people suffering from addiction and alcoholism are not people that can be considered "less than" simply they are afflicted with a disease that I don't understand.

I learned that my bride is more than I ever believed she was or could be. I learned that I am a damn lucky guy she stuck with me.

I learned that when you extend your hand for help to strangers you all reach out, take my hand and help to lead me out of the darkness.

I learned sometimes there are no right answers, sometimes you just have to do what you think is best and accept that may be all you are capable of doing at the time.

These are just a few of my most important lessons that have shaped me into what I am today. I am not the same person I was before addiction. Today I am a better person. Many things must be forged by fire to become better than what it was, glass, steel, gold and diamonds do not become beautiful and precious without tempering through pressure and heat.

The loved one of an addict, despite the turmoil, is as clear as glass, has the strength of steel, as valuable and precious as gold and sparkles like a diamond in the sun.

What have you learned? What has addiction done for you?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Breaking the Stigma, Thomas J. MacDonald

28 years ago this weekend I was 20 years old .. I was in the middle of losing my battle with addiction . I had been trying to get sober for a while ..One night I went out had a few beers and tried to get some late night Chinese food.. I was in the back seat of the car of a person a just met .. She decided to make a U turn on the downside of a hill .. We got hit broadside at over 80 mph .. (Drunk driver never convicted) The truck basically hit me in the head ..i woke up in the hospital emergency room and was in and out of consciousness for about a week ..my injuries were a broken pelvis , ruptured spleen. Tore up shoulder .. And a broken face ..I spent about 2 weeks in the hospital .. And years of rehab to deal with all the damage ..I am lucky to be alive ..,the reason I am sharing is .. I got so addicted to the never ending supply of Percocet I was prescribed and from October to January 15th i went on a downward spiral that makes the car accident seem like a fender bender .. On January 14th I got arrested for driving under the influence and would have been incarcerated and on a path of no return ..it's only the Grace of God that I was saved from my addiction .. It's been 27 years since I put down the booze and drugs ... And I have been blessed with miracles every day after ...if you know someone or if you are suffering from any type of addition all I can say is your not alone and don't give up trying before the miracle happens in your life .. God is great and can do anything .. I know .. I am a living miracle... Please keep your eyes open on the road this weekend .. It's crazy out there ..


Anyone that has read this blog for a while knows that I enjoy making sawdust. Some of my efforts may go to the fireplace but that is not my intention. I enjoy working in my shop; that was my place of peace when Alex was using. I enjoy the peace and creativity of my wood shop. If I wasn't down there making something I was trying to learn from many of the masters on TV. One of those master craftsman I admire for his skill and his ability to put such difficult to master skills into simple easy to follow lessons is Tommy MacDonald, host of Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac.

A few years ago Tommy came to the Kansas City Woodworking Show. During his talk to hundreds of fellow woodworkers he sidetracked from talking about tuning a hand plane to safety and what can happen if your mind isn't on your work while in the shop.

After he finished and everyone was done getting pictures and autographs I made my way to this master craftsman. He was probably ready to get out of there but he stayed. I related how I got 8 stitches in my chin from doing something stupid while I was thinking about my son and his addiction and not paying attention to the work I was doing.

Tommy told me about his addiction to alcohol and drugs. He told me how hard it was on his family and his father. I could relate to his father as I listened.

I give Tommy my blog address and e-mail. The next morning Tommy had e-mailed me and told me he had read parts of my blog. He told me to "hang in there," recovery is possible. Alex had been trying to quit and I was still scared he would relapse once again and I would lose him forever. Tommy filled my tank with hope and just the right words when I needed them the most.

Yesterday morning I opened the computer and looked at Facebook. Tommy Mac had written what you read above posted on his page. He told his supporters and fans all over world of his recovery.

Master woodworkers take the gnarliest, ugliest piece of wood from a tree called a burl and create beautiful works of art. Next time you see a person suffering from addiction or alcoholism and they seem gnarly and ugly, do not discount that person as a "less than" it just might be another Tommy MacDonald.

Here you can find pictures of some beautiful works of art that Tommy has created.

http://www.tommymac.us/tommys-furniture-projects/
https://www.facebook.com/thomas.j.macdonald/photos_stream

I wouldn't dare post pictures of my stuff next to these pieces of fine woodworking. For those that haven't seen my work just do a search on my blog using the term "woodworking".


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Did You Say "I Love You" Today?

Did you tell someone that you love them today? Did you show someone today that they are a special person in your life? What would you say or do if you knew tomorrow was not coming?

Last night I was coming home from work. It was a beautiful evening and work had taken me to the country and a drive around the lake. I was following a SUV and we were cruising along not fast, just the speed limit on a two lane country highway in Kansas. In an instant the world exploded.

A one ton truck was coming the opposite way and all of a sudden it clipped the very end of a trailer being towed by a truck in front of the SUV. The one ton truck swerved directly into the SUV. A head on collision at 55 miles per hour. The two vehicles hit with such impact the both left the ground and spun around 180 degrees.

I slammed on my brakes and was barely able to steer around the truck while avoiding another pickup coming towards me. I stopped fifteen feet in front of the truck. The driver was half ejected from the truck and be was barely breathing. I called 911 and went to tend to the driver. His breathing hesitated and his eyes met mine. I reached down to his hand and lifted it in mine to check his pulse. He exhaled his last breath.

I went to the SUV and the driver of that vehicle obviously did not make it. I could tell from following he never knew what hit him. He didn't even have time to hit his brakes.

Still on 911 talking to the dispatcher I kept repeating that they're dying, they are dying, hurry. Emergency vehicles arrived quickly, probably 3 minutes. There were people stopping but the two drivers were already gone.

I was close enough that as I swerved to avoid hitting the truck, debris and fluids was showering down onto the hood and top of my truck. Broken windshield pieces and a windshield wiper were in the bed of my truck.

Life is a matter of seconds all strung together. One second later and it would have been me instead of the SUV. My life, his life they are all the same. Sadness grips another family that is unspeakable. When the name was released I looked on Facebook. He was a husband and father to three children. He was 39 years old. I have an unspeakable sorrow in my heart for someone I had never met until I saw him in the SUV.

No one expects it to be their day. Life is about seconds that mean minutes and turn into days. Seconds matter to each of us. We allow our seconds to tick by without telling and showing people how much they mean to us.

Did you say "I love you to someone today?" Did you show someone today that they are a special person in your life?

Don't let the most important second of your life tick away.

http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/271761781.html