Saturday, Apr. 15, 2006
More On The Accident
Well, we know a little more about what happened in the accident, but some things we will never know.
My sister phoned tonight and she and her fiancee currently have custody of the boys. It's only a temporary arrangement, at least for now.
I was incorrect on their ages; the kids are 6 and 12.
The accident happened about 2:30am yesterday; my future brother-in-law's sister was driving, but had made sure to get plenty of sleep so she could drive at that ungodly hour. Everyone else in the vehicle was sleeping so no one knows for certain what happened. Police reports say the car went onto the shoulder and the driver lost control, the vehicle flipped several times and landed on the opposite side of the road in oncoming traffic. Whether another vehicle was involved and ran them off the road, the driver fell asleep, or something else contributed, there's no way of knowing.
The driver, the boys' mom and my sis's fiancee's sister, was killed instantly. The boys were taken to a local hospital then air-lifted to Phoenix Children's Hospital. They are both now at my sister's house, one with a hairline skull fracture, the other with some injuries, but fortunately it looks like both will recover physically.
As it turns out, the mom in this case had also recently remarried and was pregnant, was planning to surprise everyone with the news. She was about six months along. Her unborn baby girl died, as well. My sis didn't know if the baby was killed instantly when the mom died or not.
The surprise marriage added a layer of confusion, because her new hubby expected custody of the boys, whose biological dad(s?) is/are not in the picture at all. Legally, next of kin is the boys' grandmother, since the stepfather had only been married to the mom for a couple of weeks and obviously hadn't adopted the boys. But since the grandmother was herself also injured in the crash and hospitalized in another state, she directed the boys be released to my sis and her fiancee.
It's kind of hard to explain everything without using names, but especially now, I don't think it's appropriate to do so.
My sis ended up being the one who told the boys that their mother had died. She said as hard as it was for her, she didn't want to wait nor for a stranger to tell them. She pointed out that if the boys found out that the adults knew and didn't say anything right away, they (the boys) would almost certainly have serious trust issues with everyone going forward. My sis's fiancee intended to tell them but he'd just lost his sister, himself, and when he saw his nephews in the hospital he broke down and simply couldn't go on.
These two very frightened children were hurt themselves, and on top of everything else they didn't know if they would have a home. My sis said she spent a LOT of time reassuring them that not only would they have a home, but that 1) absolutely everyone wants them; and 2) no matter where they ultimately live, no one will be upset or angry with them and they will still be part of the family. She did talk to the oldest child about his stepfather, whether or not they were treated well, etc., and she asked where they wanted to live.
To be perfectly honest, sis and her fiancee would almost certainly be able to provide the best home for these children. They already own a home and have a room for the boys. They have a huge fenced yard, live in a decent neighborhood, and can offer them a stable home life. The oldest boy has already said that he wants to live with my sis and her fiancee, but she also told him that it's really important that the boys stay together, too. I don't know what the littlest one said, or if it was simply too much for him to even come up with an answer, all things considered.
Their new stepfather wants them, as I said before; but the stepdad in this case is only 22 years old, himself. (Hello?? 12 year old boy, 22 year old stepdad. Recipe for disaster.) He is also still living with his parents, too, and doesn't have the financial resources to support two children alone. The grandmother is in her sixties, not working, and while I gathered she will recover from her injuries, I understand she isn't really able to care for the children, either.
So my sis, who has always sworn she didn't want kids, may well end up with the job anyway. I know she and her fiancee want the children in this case, though they agreed they want what's best for the boys, in any event. Actually the fact that they don't have other children could work in their favor, though I think that no one wants to turn this into a fight for custody. It's difficult enough without adding a feud into the mix. Sis already adores these boys, and it goes without saying that her fiancee does, too. Whatever happens, these children will be loved, and that's the first order of business.
Considering that the boys are there, my sis and fiancee decided to try and attempt as much normalcy as possible, so Easter dinner is back on and MC and I will be driving down first thing in the morning. It may not be an easy day but we agreed to do anything and everything we can to try and help, even if it's just helping with the cooking.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )