On July 21, 2009, my life changed forever. At 11:45 pm my daughter, Sarah Jo, was in her bed at her father’s home with a terrible case of mononucleosis. At 12:13 am her best friend stopped by the house. Around 12:30 am Sarah got into the car with her friend and drove a short distance from both of the girls’ homes. Her friend was doing 75 mph on a 35 mph road, and lost control. The nose of the vehicle hit a ditch and the car flipped back and went airborne (nose of the vehicle pointed down and the trunk in the air), slamming roof first, breaking a utility pole 3’ above the ground. Both girls, age 18 and 19, were killed instantly. At approximately 3 am, the County Sheriff came to Sarah’s father’s house and told him Sarah had been killed in a one-car accident along with her best friend. The last time Sarah’s father had seen her she was in her bed. He did not even realize Sarah had left the house. I received a phone call at 4:30 am. Sarah’s father’s speech was strangled with grief and all he could say was “Sarah’s dead.” Not only did Sarah die that night I died that night. I knew my life would never be the same.
When Sarah’s best friend picked her up, Sarah had no idea that she was under the influence of alcohol. Sarah would never have gotten into the vehicle if she had known her friend had been drinking. And so here I am, a bereaved parent who never got to say good bye to her baby girl due to her being crushed beyond reality. I get out of bed every night between 1 am and 2 am and wait, thinking she just might come home. My heart says she is not gone but my head knows differently. Sarah was well on her way to her degree in medicine specializing in Psychology. Sarah worked at a nursing home/rehab and would sneak sherbet into certain patients she became attached to knowing that they did not like ice cream. She would tell me, “Don’t worry mom, I will never let you and dad go to a nursing home.” I have seen Sarah walk barefoot up and down the street in the snow carrying a collie dog trying to find its home because she was afraid it would get hit. Sarah loved everyone and everything. As I strive for some kind of release of my feelings, which I have come to realize is going to be an agonizing lifetime job, I will cry every day for the rest of my life for my beloved daughter, Sarah Jo.