We thought we were one of the luckiest families in the world. Our two boys had just finished the school year with honors and we were just starting a long vacation. Then we lost our youngest son, Wade, on May 29, 2020... just short of his 8th birthday in June.
We live in West Texas and enjoyed doing everything with our boys. Alan was three years older than his brother, but they did everything together. They loved hunting and camping at the deer lease and yes - riding the 4 wheeler. We were always protective parents… we sunscreened Wade's fair skin every sunny day, we taught them to swim at an early age, to watch out for snakes at our country home, not to talk to strangers, and we only allowed him to ride the 4 wheeler with his dad, grandpa or his big brother. Even then, it was only at the deer lease and not very often.
Our vacation was going to be in Minnesota visiting relatives. We'd
taken an RV for the first time and it took most of the day to get it
settled and to hook up the water and electricity. It took way too much
of our time and attention away from our boys. They had cousins to play
with, horses to ride and all of the fun that comes with summer vacation.
We let the distractions of the day test our better judgments. We knew
Wade was probably too young to ride the large 4 wheeler alone, but we
gave in to his requests. It was a fatal mistake and one that we will
regret every hour of the rest of our lives. He left the yard and went
around the circle drive behind the house, behind a row of north windbreak
We will never know what happened, or why he fell backwards into a deep
ditch… but the weight of the 4 wheeler crushed his abdomen. He looked
absolutely perfect but would not move or breathe on his own. CPR and
a long ambulance ride did not save him. We had lost our sweet boy while
the hamburgers were on the grill and the vacation was just starting.
The RV ride home from the Canadian border to Texas was the longest
and most excruciating time of our life. We had to put our precious angel's
body on an airplane, alone and without his family. The worst mistake
of our lives will be underestimating the danger of such a large and
powerful machine. If only we'd seen this website before our trip, or
heard any of the statistics… if only… if only…
Wade was the youngest in his 2nd grade class and he was an excellent student who loved to read. Our elementary school has a reading contest every year…this last year he placed 3rd out of 200 students. His principal had already asked to train him one year early for a competition math team. He had so much promise and was so driven. He loved life and we loved his sparkling attitude and his beautiful red hair. Our house is painfully quiet. We miss him so much and will never understand how this has happened. We have to believe that he's comforted and safe in the arms of Jesus. We have to believe that we will see him again someday.
We'd been to see the Minnesota Twins game just the day before he died.
Hot dogs, sodas, free baseball tickets and a train ride to the game
made the day just perfect. We will have to rely on those kinds of wonderful
memories to keep us going.
Wade, we love you more!
Mom, Dad and Alan
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