Lonely Night

November 20, 2007
By
Lonely Night


While laying in the dark, cold, damp tent in our backyard dead asleep, flashing lights, sirens, and a crying scream pulled me from a deep slumber. I knew something was wrong as my two sisters and I threw off our covers and sprinted across the dewy grass. We rushed through the back door and into the living room just in time to see my mother collapse to the floor in shuddering, heaving sobs. A sheriff (the coronary sheriff) was patting her back, trying to calm her down before she had to re-tell the horrific news.

It was 1:00 AM on June 21, 2003. My sisters and I plopped down on the couch as the Sheriff revealed the news she’d just received from Missoula. My dad had gone to a Shriner’s convention earlier that day, and he and his buddies went for an ATV ride. None of them were wearing helmets, and all of them were drunk. As they all sped off, swerving and making jackasses of themselves, no one noticed my father was missing. The Shriner’s re-tracked their trail to find him, but nothing. The sunset ended their search in the woods and started it back at camp. The next morning a bald-headed, old man, walking his dog, found my dad dead. Not injured…dead. He was head-first down the steep, mountain slope, his neck broken over a log, the four-wheeler long gone.

As the news sunk in, one-by-one everyone started to break down. Every single person in that room started asking, “Why?...Why him?” I couldn’t take it anymore, so I took off to my secluded bedroom. I don’t know why, but I instantly went over to my art drawer and pulled out my old, wrinkled art book. With silent tears streaming down my face, I poured my heart out in drawings I dedicated to my Dad, one of my best friends. Even though every picture had dried tears on them, it was the best I could do to keep myself from breaking down. That book, those old drawings, became my savior for the next week when no one was around. Later that week, those pictures were cremated with my father’s body. Hopefully he enjoyed them, as he traveled on to his heavenly, new home.

That night is one that I’ll never forget. I can’t. All the pain from that night didn’t go away - still hasn’t and never will. I carry my father with me wherever I go. He hangs around my neck in a sealed, silver heart, which is where his ashes will stay, forever.





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