Tuesday, August 7, 2012

blessings among tragedy

Today is August 7th, marking 3 months since we lost our little angel. It seems like a lifetime. I would love to write a post and say that as time has passed I am doing great and things are wonderful. But they are not. And I am not. I am sad. And I am so tired of being sad all the time, but I am. This trial has been far more painful and heartbreaking than I ever could have imagined. I want so badly to be happy and carefree like I used to be, but I feel like that will never happen again for me. I just don't know how I can truly be one hundred percent happy until I am with my little doll. I know that one day I will feel that joy that I am promised when we are reunited, but until then I feel like I am going to have to create a new happy. I am going to have to learn to find joy in new things. I will always have a sadness, but I hope as time continues the pain will ease more and more and I will feel happiness and joy more and more.

I have a sad heart today as I think about the 7th of May, just 3 short month ago. The time we spent in the hospital with Quincy and the heavy, permanent decisions we were forced to make. The pain and fear and horror. The sadness and the shock. I feel like I was so numb during that time. I feel like I was so much stronger during that time. I feel like I have become so much weaker since then. I have never prayed so hard as I did in that hospital bathroom, on my knees, pleading for my daughters life. From the time we got the phone call to the time we let Q go I was in one giant, constant prayer. And I know the Lord could have saved her, but he didn't. And now, somehow, I have to find peace in that. I have to trust that He needed her more on His side than I do on mine, which is so hard to convince myself of.

As I think about the horrible accident and all the pain from that day, I feel like in the midst of all the turmoil we were surrounded by countless blessings. When I get overwhelmed and sad and think about the details of that day, I try to focus on those blessings.

While in Moab Quincy called Brady and I with Kathy's help and told us she loved us. Kathy said she had been begging all day to call and talk to us. At the time I didn't know that was the last time I would ever talk to her, but what a huge blessing for her to want to call us. I feel like she just wanted to make sure we knew that she loved us.

The timing in the canyon and where we were when we got the call of the accident couldn't have been better. I feel like we were in the exact spot we needed to be. We were planning on taking a jeep ride that morning and coming home later in the evening, but Saturday our friends jeep broke down. If we would have gone on the ride Sunday morning, we would have been in Moab still when we heard about the accident. That would have been a long, frantic, 4 hour drive home. A huge blessing we weren't still in Moab.

Our friends are early birds and since the morning ride wasn't an option anymore they wanted to get up at 6 and come straight home. We talked them into going to breakfast first which stalled us in getting home. If we would have gotten home earlier Brady would have been at the house and would have gotten the page and responded to the accident, which would have been awful. Another blessing.

As we were coming up the canyon, Brady's friend text him and asked where we were and told him there was an accident and that the canyon was closed. We didn't know at the time it was our family, but talked about going up and around Salt Lake because we were anxious to get home and we were supposed to pick up Q. We had decided to go through the canyon and just wait it out and not waste the gas. As 2 ambulances passed us and we saw life flight leave Brady had said that if we could get close enough he would jump out and help since it looked like a bad one. We were stopped about a mile away from the scene, another blessing we weren't any closer than we were.

We got stopped at the Wallsburg turn and I kept getting the feeling to have Brady call his friend and ask if he knew how long the wait would be, I was really anxious to get home to Q. He did, and that's when we found out it was our family in the accident. We were in a place where we don't usually get service. Another blessing the call was even able to go through and that we were close enough to get the the hospital quick.

We were with our good friends, the McPhie's and I am so glad Brady and I weren't driving. When I found out that it was Val and Kathy's car in the accident and Kathy had already passed and Q was in really bad shape I think I went into shock a little. I don't remember anything about driving to the hospital except people yelling at us for going up the wrong side of the road and yelling back "It's our family!!" And the carseat. I vividly remember the carseat on the side of the road next to the mangled, cut apart Altima that was Kathy's. Sickening. To be with Jake and Megan who are so level headed and calm was a HUGE blessing.

The fire chief was just leaving the scene and escorted us to the hospital. Jakesaid he was going 92 as Megan said a prayer. We got to the hospital just as they were loading Q into lifeflight but gave us a quick minute to give her a blessing and kiss and touch her. That brought great peace to me. To see her hooked to those machines was heartbreaking but to be able to give her a quick blessing and let her know that mommy and daddy were there brought great comfort to me.

That the accident was Kathy's fault is actually a blessing to me. I trusted no one more than Kathy with Quincy. I don't know what happened and why she crossed lanes, I will never know, but I have complete confidence that she wasn't being neglegant and that it truly was an accident. I know she loved Quincy more than anything and would have done anything in her power to avoid all of this.

Kassidy. I am so thankful that she is ok. She has a long road ahead of her but her life is such a wonderful blessing. She is a strong little girl.

The fact that I was able to get pregnant again and to have a little boy growing inside my belly, another wonderful blessing. Sometimes I forget to be grateful for him because I long for Quincy so badly and I have so many mixed feelings about him coming. At first I was mad that he was a boy because all I know is girl and everyone tells me how different boys are. I don't want anything different. I want Q. But as time continues I am truly grateful he's a boy and that he will be different. I hope there's enough of Q in him we can be reminded of her, but he is a blessing and we are counting the days until he gets here.

I know there are other things I haven't mentioned, but as I reflect on the whole experience I'm just amazed that we survived it and we are doing as well as we are. I know that we were surrounded by our 3 angels and that they have helped us tremendously. It's hard. Every day is hard. Everything is hard. There isn't one minute that I don't think of Quincy or Kathy or Val. Everything around me reminds me of one of them. I often have a tear in my eye, but I'm learning to smile about the memories and focus on the great things we got to share with all of them and not as much the fact that they aren't here anymore. My sister in law told me something that I have thought about so much lately. She said that sometimes these people, although so important in our lives, are taken back to heaven because they can help us more from that side than they could here. I feel like I need Q here to survive this life, but I have to trust that I need her help from that side more. She will be able to do things now that weren't in her power here on this earth. I have to remember the bigger picture and learn to trust and continue to watch for the blessings. Because we are so blessed.


Amberlin Bodily said...

I love that last part, of what your sister in law told you. So wonderful..you are absolutely amazing Angie. You are stronger than what you know and so amazing. You are truly writing a beautiful story. Love you.

Mary Stoecker said...


I am so sorry for you and Brady's loss. My heart breaks for you. I have been following a blog that might give you some help with how you are feeling.
Families Are Forever by Kendra and Ryan Webster at
My prayers are with you both.

Mary Stoecker

Bridger & Tausha Wilde said...

Ang... I've thought a lot about that weekend. I am so grateful for so many things...like the jeep breaking...and how Q was so smart and could use words..I love that she let you know that you and Brady are her world.....that when Brady rolled your jeep that it was amazing how your phone came out without a scratch so you could have all those pictures to cherish forever. You are so strong. I look up to you in so many ways. I'm sure Q is having a ball playing with her little brother and teaching him the ropes and things to cause trouble :). I think of her daily and you as well...

Ashley Sullenger said...

To be honest I couldn't read your whole post, brought too many feelings back. But I want to send my love. I completely understand. I've been thinking about you, and was going to send you an e-mail, because 3 months is when I hit my all time low. I felt like it got harder, because the comforter was now allowing us to handle more of trial by ourselves, and I didn't feel ready. I know the pain, the horrific, never ending pain. I know that feeling of thinking you'll never be happy again until you are reunited with little Q.

But let me tell you, being two years out, I'm happy again. A different kind of happy, and there are times when both Pat and I can laugh so hard it hurts, but it took time to get here. Time won't heal your heart, but it will help you learn to deal with missing Quincy.

Have you read Joy Cometh in the Morning? Let me know.

Sending lots of love, and many prayers, prayers for peace, and even a small break of the heavy burden on your shoulders.

Ashley Sullenger

Amylee said...

I have been reading a few books by people that have gone through incredible trials- practically unbearable, just like what you are going through. As I've been reading and reflecting, I've felt that sometimes we have to go through such terrible things so that others can be brought into Christ and saved through him. I KNOW that Val, Kathy, and Quincy have touched and humbled others that hear of their story, and your story. Imagine the joy you will feel if you are able to see other people's eternal salvation come about because of this trial you all have to bear. You have them all for ETERNITY. How could anyone go on without that knowledge? We are so blessed.

I love you. I am so sorry for everything. I can't wait until baby boy comes. I think he will help heal your mother heart more than you know.

Hang in there. Apparently all I do is cry these days, so if you want someone to cry with, you should definitely call me :)

Auntie EM said...

I found your blog from Ashley's. Ashley is a strong woman and will give you good advice and comfort.It is sometimes so hard to understand why loses like the one you and your family have to endure happen. I don't have the answer. All I know is that the missing does not go away and time does not make the heartache any less. But....time does give your brain and heart a chance to reconcile the loss and to find a new normal. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Live an abundant life for your daughter and find joy in raising your son. He will bring happiness to your life. Someday in the future it will be easier to remember how blessed you are to have had Q in your life. A broken heart is sometimes the price we pay for loving someone. My heart goes out to you and yours. May the Lord shower you with many tender mercies along the way and I hope it helps to know others care.

Ty n Casey's Mom said...


You don't know me. I grew up with the Drapers and absolutely love that family. (Cody is my age.) I hope you don't mind my commenting here on your blog. Just wanted to say I can't imagine how hard this is for you, but sometimes it helps to know your little girl is safe in heaven and is saved by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She will never have to suffer the pains, trials and tribulations of mortality. Thinking of it that way may bring a small measure of comfort. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Karen Anderson