On September 14th of last year, we had a plan. My mom had spent the entire summer fighting a deadly disease in the kind of upbeat fashion you've never seen anyone fight with. So we planned on having a surprise party. 100 people were invited. We were going to meet in the park. It was my dad's responsibility to take her out somewhere so she would be wearing clothes she was comfortable being seen it when she came to help me because my 'car broke down' in the park.
September 14th just happen to be the one and only hurricane we've had in the midwest in my entire lifetime.
So we ended up meeting at the park. I had to call my mom and say that my cousin and I went to the park and now my car won't start. She looked at my dad on the way there and said "We're in the hurricane. Why the hell did she go to a park?" And then when she arrived, the only car she immediately recognized was my uncles monte carlo, to which she stated to my dad "why did they call me if he was already here?" Surprise accomplished.
We left the park and went to one of my mother's best friends homes just up the road. A few trees came down while we were there. The electricity went out. The storm, in fact, caused way more than 500,000 homes to be without electricity for anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks. But we were celebrating that day. It was a happy day, and we didn't care about the weather. In fact, the only picture I took of any damage was the first picture up there, and that was nearly a week later.
Until the people who opened their home to us received a phone call.
"Two motorcyclists were killed when a tree struck their motorcycle. The victims were with a charity motorcycle ride to benefit the families of fallen and injured soldiers."
And the day changed forever. Their son and his wife: TJ & Stephanie. They were gone forever. And suddenly the weather didn't matter.
One year on. One year since we lost them. 365 days since the hurricane that changed our lives forever and left a baby girl orphaned.
One year later, and the courts have still not awarded permanent custody to anyone over 18 month old Abby.
We remember this today, and nothing else. And we pray that by the end of the month Abby will have a new forever home--she's lost enough, and we remember every minute of it.