My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, March 10, 2012

the rest of the story

Before I wrote my blog entry yesterday morning at wee-dark-thirty... I understood Austin to say that the boy who died sat in front of him in math class. Actually ... what he said was more along the lines of dreading going to math class because Kegan sat in front of him and it would be a reminder that he was gone.

With Aspergers kids (I mean, adults, I keep forgetting he's 18 now) you don't always get the entire chronological story in a way that makes sense. I thought we were looking at a very tragic situation of an acquaintance who had passed away. I updated yesterday's entry but in case you missed it: this hit way, way closer to home than I originally realized.

Yesterday morning I took Austin to school and was able to piece the story together... so many of Austin's buddies drifted in and out of our place when we lived in town... and most of them had nicknames like "Fluffy" or "Fat Pat" and so they morphed into pretty much the same kid in my head... it took me a minute to remember this boy.

Kegan was the boy who helped Logan move his stuff to our house when Logan's mom threw him out last Spring. (and was therefore subjected to my "you play/you pay" speech that I gave)
Kegan was "the friend" that Austin described as coming to see him when he spent the night with a friend "in town" a few weeks back.
Kegan was one of a group of kids that Austin hoped to meet up with if I would have taken him into town on Thursday evening.

Thursday after work my back was hurting... I was exhausted... my blood pressure was off the charts and I told Austin that there was no way for me to add a couple extra hours of suffering to my already way too long day. It wasn't punitive but he HADn't done what I'd asked him to do over the past week or so. I wasn't willing to sacrifice and suffer for him to have a good time out and about with friends on a school night. (and somewhere in the back of my head I'm hearing Purple Michael say, "come down off the cross already... we need the wood")

He kept trying to make a deal and I wasn't feeling like Monty Hall.

Would Austin have potentially been with Kegan when he flipped his car? I don't know. Who can say what chain of events can transpire when a bunch of "ten feet tall and bullet proof" teenagers get together? I'm sure that if I HAD taken Austin to hang out with his friends that it would have been with the stipulation that he had a ride home because there was absolutely no way I could have stayed up and focused enough to go out again. And there was enough of a connection between the two of them that Austin found out about the accident because of mutual friends texting to see if he was with Kegan.

Austin came to this area in 9th grade and... typical of small towns... everyone knows everyone which means that if you're new, you stick out like a sore thumb. And if you weren't born here... you're new.  In ANY environment Austin would be different. He's way very lots of mega-different here. There haven't been a lot of kids who have attempted to befriend Austin and I have no doubt... he hasn't tried to befriend a lot of kids. Kegan was a friend. And he is gone.

Two hours into my work day, Austin called from school. He was crying so hard that I could barely understand him. I understood enough to realize that THIS was too much for him to deal with in a public school environment. I grabbed my keys... stuck my head in the office next to mine and said, "I've got to get Austin, I'll be back". I'm sure there was probably someone who could have picked him up for me but this was one of those parenting jobs that you don't farm out. Sometimes... a kid grown man just needs his mommy.

As a parent, you're only as happy as your saddest kid. I cried the whole way to the school... took a deep breath... wiped off the mascara and went in to check Austin out. A young lady from our church was standing there and I spoke but barely... my focus was on connecting with my kid and helping him to make sense out of a senseless loss. He was just. so. sad. Heartbroken.

I took him home and went back to work. Shaken and grateful all at once.

There's a report of the accident on our local news website. There's even a picture... not gory... just sad. He ran off the road a little... over-corrected, lost control and the car flipped on it's side. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The girlfriend was. I have no idea what the extent of her injuries are but I know she survived.

Getting on my soapbox... let me just say, "Please wear a seatbelt, always, every time." I get gas at Ingles on Saturday before I get groceries. After I pump gas, I get back in my car BUCKLE UP and drive the fifty yards across the usually completely empty parking lot. It's that important to me. Every time.

Anyways... just wanted to share the rest of the story.


Lisa said...

So sad. I am praying for everyone.