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Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's Been One Month Today

The first time the girls met their baby brother.
It doesn't feel like a month has passed. It feels like the detective just told me, as kindly as he could, that Davy was killed by a hit and run driver. My knees buckled, and I sank to the porch, all the while shaking my head no and saying, "No. God had a purpose for him. He can't be dead. I don't believe you."

When my best friend and I took the photo's we wanted to display, a flash drive containing digital pictures for a slide show, his black belt from karate, and clothes he was to be buried in to the funeral home, my friend got out one of the pictures and showed it to the man getting Davy ready for viewing, and asked, "Are you sure it's him?" He nodded his head, telling us he got on Facebook to see pictures of Davy, how he wore his hair, etc.

I still held out hope … until I saw him in the casket. It really was Davy. It was true. Davy was really dead. But, inside my head I was screaming, "No! God had a purpose for him! He can't be dead!"

Leaving the funeral home after his funeral was the hardest part. Davy wasn't in that casket … that was just the shell he used here on earth … but at least I could see him … and touch him. I lingered for a long, long time. I didn't want to leave. Outside, people were waiting on me in the parking lot to sing him Happy Birthday and release 24 balloons. I finally forced myself to walk outside. I mouthed the words to Happy Birthday, but I couldn't sing. I was crying too hard.

I spent the next week and a half distributing flyers, asking for someone to come forward with information. I posted them, my family posted them, and my friends posted them. A lot of leads came in … and they're still coming in, and the detective personally follows up on them. He's driven all over the tri-state, but none of the vehicles were the one that killed Davy.

My daughters seem to be having a harder time dealing with this than I am. I think it's because I'm older and more able to keep my emotions in check in front of other people. I've spent my life hiding my tears and fears from my kids. I never wanted them to see me cry, because if I cry, they'd be afraid, and the things I wanted to cry about were my problems, not theirs. I had three beautiful, happy little children. I couldn't cry in front of them. I cried a lot, but only after they were sound asleep at night. The girls have told me "You don't be strong for us, Mama. Don't keep everything bottled up." I don't keep things bottled up, not entirely anyway, but I DO have to be strong for them. If I start crying, they will, too, and we're all probably on the verge of dehydration from all the tears we've shed as it is.

I used to count the time since Davy was killed in days. Now I'll have to count them in months. One day, I'll be counting them in years. He was the baby of the family. He was my baby. I breastfed him. I rocked him to sleep at night for years. I cuddled him and smothered him with kisses and told him I loved him all day, every day. I did everything humanly possible to give him a wonderful childhood. I sacrificed things I needed to give my kids the things they wanted, and I was happy to do it. because that's what parents do … they put their kids before themselves.

When the kids were young, I was barely making ends meet. I would take them to McDonald's after church on Sunday and get them all a Happy Meal and then they'd play on the indoor playground. They'd always ask me why I didn't get anything for myself. The truth was, I didn't have the money to buy myself anything, but they didn't have to know that. Besides, they only ate a small portion of their meals … there was plenty to fill me up when they were done … with food still leftover.

We would have picnics on our porch or in the backyard, or at one of the thousands of playgrounds in the city and surrounding counties. Taking them to a playground they had never played on before was an adventure for them! They'd scatter in three different directions, all yelling, "Mama! Watch me!" or "Mama, did you see me?" I don't know how, but I got pretty good at looking at all three of them and seeing all the things they did. Even if I missed their great feat, I'd praise them as though I saw them, and they never knew I didn't.

Other times, I would load up the kids bikes and drive to New Harmony State Park, find an empty parking lot and let them ride as fast and far as they wanted. They knew not to go out of the parking lot, and they never did. When they tired of riding their bikes, we'd have a picnic or a snack. When it started getting dark, we'd load up in the car and drive through the park slowly. Deer were everywhere. Since it was a sanctuary, they weren't afraid of people, and the kids got to see them close up, just outside the car window, or leisurely eating in the fields, just out of reach.

During the day, when we stayed home, they'd play out back on their swing set, their sandbox, or their playhouse. I'd set up the pool or the sprinkler and they run through it and squeal with delight. When Davy was little, he'd be in his walker, he'd splash the water on the tray and giggle. We'd sit on the front porch swing after dinner, all piled up together, and talk and sing and giggle. When it was time for bed, we'd sit in a circle, holding hands, and pray together. The kids would pray individually, then I'd pray.

We were poor back then, but the kids didn't know it. They felt privileged … and they were. They were privileged because they had a mother who played with them every single day. We ate dinner together every single night. I'd make play dough for them during their naps. They wake up to find three tubs of play dough and were as excited as a 16-year old being presented a new car on their birthday! One night I stayed up and sewed dozens of bean bags for them to wake up to in the morning. You'd be surprised at how many games you can play with bean bags!

There were vacations to the beach and weekend adventures to attractions close by. I had season passes to the zoo and Burdette pool. We'd go swimming every weekend or take a trip to the zoo. As they got a little older, we take hikes on local trails or forge our own, somehow avoiding all the poison ivy.

Other mother's may love their kids as much as I love mine, but it's impossible to love your kids more than I love mine. Through those dark, early days of it just being me and my three little bears, they were the only reason I was able to get out of bed every morning. Those three little kids deserved everything the world had to offer, and I was determined to give it to them. We had everything money can't buy, and that's worth more than all the riches in the world. They were loved and healthy, and they went to bed every night with a full belly in a warm bed, covered in kisses and hugs.

It doesn't seem possible that I can now only talk to and hug two kids. When the girls and I are seated at a table, I look at them and realize they are my whole family now. Davy was just one person, but his absence creates a giant hole. It's a hole nothing else can fill and it will always be there. That is such a painful concept that I can't think about it for long.

For so many years, I wasn't "Jackie". I was "Mama", or "So-and-so's mom." To this day, I can be out somewhere and someone will recognize me and say, "You're Davy's mom, right?"

Yes, I am Davy's mom. I love him. I miss him, and I can't imagine life without him. And now I have to. My heart is so heavy, but despite my own pain, I worry about my girls, and my heart aches for Davy's two babies who will not remember him except through stories they are told. No one ever said life is fair … because it's not.

Just before leaving our little rent house for our OWN house.

Even if you don't live in the Evansville area, please keep an eye out for this car. It was traveling South on I-69. It could have been coming from and going to anywhere. The Sheriff's office will follow up any ANY lead.

The Sheriff’s Office has identified the make and model of the suspect vehicle from the fatal hit and run crash that killed 23-year old David “Davy” Egan, father of two, on Friday, June 22, 2018 on I-69 near south Green River Road.

SUSPECT VEHICLE: Silver 1998-2002 Honda Accord sedan. 2-door or 4-door body style. The vehicle will have damage to the front end.

If you know of a vehicle matching this description, please contact the Sheriff's Office TIP line at 812-421-6297 or leave a web tip here.

1 comment:

  1. If there was an actual award for "The Best Mama in the Whole Universe" it would go to you.