I had just returned from a great weekend in ATL when the phone rang this morning with the shattering news. My youngest son had died in a motorcycle accident. Another driver had made an improper turn and struck him down. The feeling was one I never expected to feel, the death of a 29 year old young man with all his life in front of him. Then it hit me, I had to drive alone on the ride back home.
Now I have been at war, seen young men die defending our country, lost my best friend, daughter-in-law, Dad and Mom in consecutive years, but I was not ready to lose my son. So on the 5 hour ride which was filled with phone calls, texts, emails and so many words of sympathy and encouragement, there were also the quiet moments of God and I reckoning this tragedy. And what he did for me to comfort me was flash all the memories of Paul's life in front of me as well as those times we spent together as father and son.
The ride was filled with tears, filled with memories, and as I am sure other parents have felt in this situation, questioning why? His wife is devastated, his Mom inconsolable and his sister is heart broken. Through it all I can't help but want to spend the next few days finding ways to honor my son and how he lived his life to the fullest.
His friends posted so many great heart warming comments on Facebook and there were a dozen cars in his driveway when I pulled up, the house filled with friends. Then I saw his 2 year old son, and I saw Paul in him, but I didn't see Paul, and I cried all over again, because I would never see him alive again.
His ride, his motorcycle was his pride and joy. I remember the day he showed it to me in my driveway and my words were "son, this scares me because you are now a father and there are some crazy drivers out there". But he looked at me with a sparkle in his eye and said "I've got it Dad"
and I thought he's young, adventurous and I would probably be doing the same thing if I had it to do again.
The ride is over now, but forever in my heart I will cherish this great young man, his adventurous spirit, and I will honor him always because I am so proud to have been his father.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.