What happened

On February 18th, 1993 I got the call that is every mother's worst nightmare. My oldest son was shot and killed. The worst part is that he pulled the trigger. He was 17 years old.

On September 22nd, 1999 his little brother (then 22) went to the cemetary where Shane's ashes are and shot himself in the head. He wanted to be with his brother--wherever that is when you kill yourself.

It was also what happened between their deaths. Howie, Ryan's best friend, was murdered. His brief story in the blogs posted.

How much could one 22 year old take?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Then there was Howie

A few years after Shane died, Ryan was finally getting to the point where he could go hang out with friends and have fun. One night his friends came to pick him up and go to Howie's house (out in the country) to play pool and hang out.

The next morning I was awakened to Ryan crumpled over on the stairs with a living room full of teenage boys. Ryan was crying that Howie got shot and died. They had all spent the night at the hospital.

It also happened to be the morning of the Oklahoma City bombing. What in the heck is happening in this world?

Evidentally, a deranged, drunken father of a girl from their school showed up at midnight, forced his way into Howie's home, held a gun to his forehead and pulled the trigger. Mistaken identity. He was looking for another one of their friends. He chased my son through the house like an animal while Ryan pleaded for his life. The shooter didn't shoot Ryan.

We had to go through not one, but two trials. If none of you have ever been involved in a murder, when we got to court (which was many miles away each day), there were 16" x 20" enlargements of Howie's face with a black hole in his forehead on display throughout the entire 4 day trial.

Surreal. I finally learned what that word means. I sat there in a courtroom out in the country hills looking at a man who tried to kill my son, and did kill his best friend, Howie.

It was a few years later when my uncle, Phil, died and we had to go to the funeral. Uncle Phil was Ryan's father image. Phil and Ryan were very close, and Ryan had as much as any 19 year old could take. His brother, his best friend, his father figure. Ryan sat next to me for the longest time and then disappeared into the men's room. I convinced him to come out and we'll go home.

A few year's later Ryan went to the cemetary to join his brother and his friend. He told me once that he wished that shooter had of just killed him, too, right there that night with Howie.

Happy Birthday, Shane!

You would have been 34 today.