In Loving Memory

  • Remembering my beloved child, Austin, who passed away at the early age of 14. He lived more in those 14 short years than most and is an inspiration to us all.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

11th Birthday

2005 was a scary year for Austin. A few months before he turned 11, Tim and I were in a serious motorcycle accident. We were in the hospital for weeks and it took several months after to recover.

I don't know if I could have made it through that time without Austin. He was such a tremendous help and so mature through it all. I can only imagine how scared he was and how alone he felt at times. In reading his papers about it, I can tell it made a difference in how he felt about us. He realized at a very young age how short life is, how precious every moment is with those you love, and to never take a day for granted.

I am a big believer that things happen for a reason. That wreck was horrible and extremely hard on our family but it strengthened us so much. It brought us closer to each other and to God. It changed all of us, for the better. And looking at where we are today, I can say God had a plan in all of it.

I have so many photos and memories of that year because of what happened. It was a big wake up call for Tim and me and we spent that entire summer making the most of every moment. We took some type of trip or did a family activity every weekend. And I am so grateful we did.

My mom purchased a trampoline for the boys, while I was still confined to the hospital bed. She thought it might give them an activity to do, when I needed a bit of a break. It was great fun for them and they enjoyed playing on it all summer. Our house was the hot spot for all the neighborhood kids that year!

Austin's 11th birthday was of course, at our house. We had just had a deck put in so he was happy to show it off and host the party from a higher view. He had a Crocodile Hunter cake and the guests enjoyed both the pool and trampoline that year. Many of Austin's gifts that year were video games, as he was heavy into playing at that age. He also still enjoyed WWE and received a backpack and clothing with the logo for his 6th grade year.

We spent a lot of time fishing that summer and visited both Diamond and Kentucky lake. Ky Lake was our biggest trip of the year, as we spent a week there. Austin enjoyed the Land Between the Lakes park and exploring nature. We had a picnic each day, at a different scenic area.

Thanksgiving weekend we took the boys to the Circus and splurged to get front row seats. They had a wonderful time, watching the acrobats and animals. We spoiled them the whole night, standing in line to see the bear, ate tons of cotton candy and popcorn and rode the elephant.

That Christmas, was a magical one, maybe because we realized how lucky we were to be together. We spent it making cookies and gifts for others, making homemade cards to send to family, and snuggling by the fire.

We started the tradition that year of putting up an additional tree in the house. It was called the "Kid's Tree" and was an old-fashioned tree decorated with pine cones, paper streamers and other homemade items. The star was made by tracing both Austin's and Noah's hands, cutting them like snowflakes and fanning them out. We placed the tree in our kitchen.

That tree had such special meaning last year because it was the one Austin put together by himself, to surprise us, the day he passed.

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