Memorial weekend was such a blast, a mini vacation for our little family as we made the long trek back to Benton City. We spent time with family, I got to go shopping with my sister and niece, pedicures and manicures, boating, a family baseball game, BBQ’s and I even got some Xbox challenges in with the kids. It was some of the greatest 4 days away. On Monday, we were traveling back over the Mountains when I learned of another accident. Another accident that was all too familiar for us. A father backed over his child in their family driveway. Right there in the Tri-Cities where I had just left.
Does this happen a lot more than we ever noticed before, or is it just happening all the time now? You read the article and know right away that it is probably inaccurate. One thing that I learned following our accident was that nobody really knew what they were talking about. The article in the Olympian claimed I was 21 and that Rowyn was just playing in the driveway at 8:00am that day. I normally wouldn’t complain about being mistaken for 10 years younger, but in this case it was disturbing. And who really thinks a 17 month old baby is just playing in the gravel driveway at that hour….. When it’s your story, and it’s told wrong it is beyond upsetting. Then you get the comments that all of the readers leave behind which can be prayers and positive thoughts, or they can be the total opposite of cruel nature. The first article from the accident on memorial day said 2 year old, the second article said 1 year old. The fact is, it was a little tiny child, just like Rowyn.
All I could think was I need to reach out to them. Oddly enough, after sending press releases to all the news stations in the Tri-Cities a couple of different times, this was when they decided to reach out about Raise for Rowyn. We just wanted our charity in the public on the other side of the state so our growth will give us the ability to help more families. A reporter remembered our story from one of the press releases when the accident happened on Monday, and wanted to finally talk to us about Raise for Rowyn. I did the best I could with a sick kid sleeping in the other room and a short 15 minute preparation once I learned it was being done via facetime. When I finished I was anxious all the rest of the day thinking “will they get the story right?” It’s our ultimate fear. Brynn and I have talked about this a few different times. As painful as the story is for us, it is even more painful when and if we see it told incorrectly. For me it is easier to tell. The reason is because as the driver of the car it is important to me that people realize how my role in the accident played out. Someone can read a news clip and form an opinion or a judgement unknowingly, and almost immediately.
In any case, KEPR news did a good job of telling our story. In fact, we are utterly grateful for them for putting Raise for Rowyn out there for us. I’ve watched the clip 3-4 different times. I watch my expression, my mouth, my eyes, the way I speak when I talk about it. I wonder, “how can I do it?” The most painful experience in my whole life, and I make it almost look easy talking about it. I am the one who notices that I cannot keep eye contact, my voice is different, I fumble for words and maybe even play with my hair. It is easier for me to talk about the accident than it is for Brynn. But……. No matter how it appears it will never be easy.