We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day that year in 2005. I prepared a big dinner including potato salad, which Amanda told me the pilgrims “served’ on the first Thanksgiving. She just liked my homemade potato salad. Amanda was there with her fiancé, Dave and my husband Joe and my stepson David were also there. We talked and laughed and had a great time. Then she and Dave left to go visit her father. I did not know that that would be the last time I would see her alive.
The next day, I spoke to Amanda on the phone. She and her Dad were going to visit her grandmother. I said I Love You. I remember telling her once that she was my whole world. While they were driving home, a car going in the opposite direction went out of control and came into their lane. Amanda’s Dad was driving and he had no time to stop or move over. They hit the car and Amanda died instantly. Her Dad was injured but alive. He said he held her hand until help arrived. I got the call at 9:00 pm to come to the hospital. Her dad wanted to be the one to tell me Amanda had died.
Amanda had just completed her first semester in college. She was just 18 when she died. Amanda wanted to be a teacher. She was engaged to be married. She was always happy and had a great sense of humor. She could make me laugh when she did her impression of Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy routine. She and her dad loved Nascar and would go to the races together. I remember thinking over and over “How am I going to live the rest of my life without her?” I kept hoping this was all a bad dream and that I was going to wake up and everything would be okay.
All of her friends and teachers from elementary school, high school and her college roommate came to her funeral. Her fiancé and his friends sang “I hope you had the time of your life”. The line of people never seemed to end. I felt so sorry for Dave and for her Dad. There were no words of comfort I could give them. I was so involved in my own pain.
Well, it’s been 9 years now and never a day goes by when I don’t take a moment and think of her. My beautiful baby girl. I dream of her sometimes and in those dreams she is always happy and laughing. I think that is how she wants me to remember her. The pain never really goes away completely but it does lessen and I remember the good times now.
Her Dad never fully recovered from his grief or his injuries and passed away in 2014. I think he died of a broken heart. But I believe now Amanda and her Nascar buddy are together again talking about the latest race. To Amanda I tell her I love her and that we will be together again one day and she will be laughing as I hug her and probably make me laugh.