Family is such a vital piece to what makes us, us. They are the first ones to teach us our first steps, words, and how to love and be loved. At least, this was the case for my family.
I was born into this world in Springfield, Missouri to Andrea and Jim Husong. My mother was gentle and kind, encouraging and loving; she always put others before herself. My mother was strong headed and beautiful. She also had a fantastic "shopping addiction" for Nordstroms, which is understandably why my sister, Ashley, has this same "shopping addiction" for Nordstroms. She was beautiful, inside and out, and everything I aspired to be.
My father, Jim, was handsome and smooth, outgoing and giving. He would offer the shirt off of his own back if it meant helping out someone else. He had a heart of gold and the type of personality that made him the life of the party. His vivaciousness and livelihood were all characteristics I hoped one day to have. He was in the car business, and was your perfect type of salesman. He knew all the right schmoozing he needed to do to land the deal, but at the end of the day, he landed the deal because of the relationships he had taken the time to build with people. He was just all around, a good person, and someone that I looked up to.
With my dad being in the car business, he was always driving new cars around. One time, he came to pick me up from school in a Viper. Whenever he would come pick us up, he always had to make sure that everyone in the school pick up line knew he was there. He typically did this by roaring his engine as loud as he could, trying to show off. I was always so mortified when he would do this, because all of the parents picking up their children would just stare at my dad in astonishment. There was even one time where he roared his engine for so long that the principal came over and asked him to stop. In that moment, all I wanted was for my car seat to engulf me, so no one knew that it was my dad that was getting in trouble by the principal.
My mother luckily was a stay at home mom, and got to spend her days taking care of my sister and I. We had a wonderful childhood, with all the toys you could imagine that FILLED our basement, a beautiful house sitting on three acres of land, tennis courts, a swing set, room to ride my dad’s Four Wheelers, and so much more.
We also had a beautiful two story lake house at Table Rock Lake. And you couldn’t forget about the giant speedboat that my parents had as well. From cruises on the boat, to sleepovers at the lake house, we didn’t think it could get much better than that. Our lives seemed complete. We were the perfect little family of four, with nothing to possibly go wrong.
One weekend, my sister (Age 5), mother and I (Age 7) had decided to go to the lake and my dad said he would meet us there after work. We were all enjoying our time at the lake that night, sharing laughs and smiles. As time wore on, my mother began to get a little worried, because my father still was not there yet. She assured herself it was nothing and continued to enjoy spending time with us.
My mother’s phone rang and it was my dad. She walked into the other room to ask him where he was, assuming things had gone late at work. My mother’s voice suddenly got louder as you could hear her ask, “Are you okay?!” My sister and I became worried, wondering what might be wrong with our daddy.About ten minutes later, my father walked in through the front door of our lake house. He was covered in blood and had several bruises all over his body.
Apparently, he was speeding to get to the lake, and was driving through many curvy roads. As he came around a bend, out popped a deer, causing my dad to swerve and strike a tree. From what my young ears could gather, my father was knocked unconscious, while his car burst into flames. As he was sitting there, unconscious in the driver’s seat, his phone started to ring. The noise from his phone woke him up. It was my dad’s brother calling him, wondering what he was doing. As my father came to the realization of what had just happened, he unbuckled, got out of the car, and started walking to our house.
My dad assured my mom that he was fine and that the ambulance did not need to come that night. When the next day came, my dad was lying on the couch, and kept going in and out of consciousness. He was ghostly white, and was not responding much. We later found out that my father had internal bleeding. He also was having issues with his spleen. He had always had issues with his spleen when he was younger too, so they were worried they may need to remove it.
My mom called the ambulance, and then asked if a neighbor could come sit with my sister and I, while she rode to the hospital with my dad. I distinctly remember playing a game of Pictionary with our neighbor, but in the back of my head, all I could think about was if my daddy was going to be okay. The next few hours were excruciating, hoping that he would come back safely to our happy little home. I couldn’t afford to lose my first love quite yet.