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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The day the Angels came...

It was an ordinary day to us.  The first day of spring baseball had come on a crisp March afternoon.  We had anticipated this day for a while since Travis had been "highly recruited" by the city league baseball coaches.   We had lived in Utah for a year and Travis had played the previous season, he was 10.  The coaches had moved him up to a 12 year old team the previous year, which made quite a stir from a few parents, and then he made the All-star team, which created even more of a stir, since their were other parents who thought their sons were much more qualified.  My husband and I have never involved ourselves much with sports teams politics, so we didn't think much about it.  Travis just loved to play the game, and he was extremely good.  He was good at more than baseball...things always came easy to him.  He never studied and made straight A's, he didn't practice too much and would play his piano pieces beautifully at his recitals, he seemed to make instant friends wherever he went, he had always been an easy child.

The Afternoon finally arrived and I took my two little ones to sit out on the lawn to watch.  I remember sitting on a blanket and feeling the cool grass on my feet while Cade and Rhett jumped around and pretended to be baseball players. The first drill which was sprints started. Travis one every sprint. The next drill..the team lined up in pairs, the two players that could throw the most throws in a timed period.  Travis and his partner won. He went down a line of partners each time he and the partner he was with won.  Wow, I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was that good, I remember thinking.  Batting practice...smash, one after the other into the outfield, line drive.  Practice ended. His coach came over and shook my hand and told me how excited he was to have Travis on his team. He was also the high school baseball coach, he told me he thought it was going to be a great year.

Travis and his best friend Derryk ran out in the parking lot to meet my cousin Crissy who was attending college near by. They hopped in the car with her and Derek's sister to head to the roller rink.  I really didn't want Travis to go...I told him it was a school night, maybe he better not.  "I've already done my homework and it's early Mom!" I really couldn't think of any other reasons for him not to go, so I hesitantly agreed. I remember thinking to say everyone buckle up...but they rolled up the window and zoomed off, before I could get the words out.

I went home and started dinner and was planning on heading to the gym as soon as my husband was home from work and the little ones were fed.

The phone rang and it was Derek's Dad. The words came out of the phone and it seemed as if the air in the atmosphere changed at the same time.  "There's been an accident, the kids are at the hospital, everyone is hurt. You need to get there fast."   

I arranged for someone to stay with the little ones and I rushed to the hospital, it was a few minutes away.  I walked into the ER and saw Derek, there was lots of blood everywhere, his eyes were open he was alert.  I could hear high pitched shrieks and followed the sound.  I saw Travis in  a room with numerous doctors and nurses frantically rushing around him.  I sensed the gravity of the situation.  I went to his side and spoke to him "Travis! It's Mom! can you hear me? More shrieks and his eyes rolling back in his head...I plead with him to answer.  He looked gray to me.  I knew he was teetering between life and death. No one had to tell me how serious the situation was. I knew.  A nurse came and told me they had to do a brain scan and took me to a small room with no windows and a telephone sitting on the desk.  I later learned that was where they took the people that might have to inform their loved ones of a death.  I called my husband and told him to come quickly, that is all the words I could say.  I hung up the phone and fell to my knees.  The words poured out of my heart.  I told the Lord that if He had a reason to call Travis home, Travis was so couragous, he wouldn't hesitate! He would go wherever the Lord wanted him to go.  I told the Lord I wanted Travis to live and I wanted him to be with our family and grow up and I wanted to continue to raise him!  My heart was breaking as I told the Lord I knew it had to be His will. Travis would want it to be the Lords will, whatever that may be.  As soon as I said these words an undiscribable peace and warmth came over me.  I heard the words in my mind that I had read many times in the bible "Be still and know that I am God"  I felt calm.

My husband arrived and we were able to go see Travis again...still with teams of medical staff moving quickly around him.  It was determined that he had possible bleeding in his brain from the impact of the accident, he would be life flighted to Primary Children's Medical center for further treatment to his brain.

My husband and I had a quick moment for him and his business partner, who was also a good friend give Travis a blessing and say a prayer before we left.  I stood with them and listened, not able to speak, but feeling unusually calm, and listened. Again, the warmth came. My soul felt still.

The ER team turned Travis over to the life flight team.  They seemed like Angels to me in their red suits. The sound of the helicopter was loud, and the wind was strong as it landed.  They loaded my sweet boy who just recently had won every drill on that baseball diamond, into the helicopter.   My heart broke as they informed me there was no room for anyone else, since they needed all of their crew on board to keep Travis alive.  The air became hard to breathe.  I stood there and watched the helicopter fly over the mountain with my boy in it.  I thought I might collapse. I will never forget the sound it made flying away.

My husband's partner, Andrew drove us to the hospital.  We had to drive AROUND the mountain instead of over.  I'm not sure why but I got in the back seat.  I wanted to yell for him to GO FASTER!!!, but no words would come.  I couldn't speak.  Again I felt warm and at peace.  In my mind I could see my Grandmother Sally who had passed away a few years earlier sitting next to me.  I could see in my mind her patting my hand and telling me it was going to be ok. I felt at peace.  That 45 minute car ride was the longest ride of my life.



  1. You are such an incredible mom. You are an inspiration to everyone around you. I can not imagine what you went through that day and all the days thatfolled. Thank you for sharing such a private personal story. I have no doubt it will comfort those who read it and help them through trials they are going through. Beautiful. -Melanie

  2. Thank you so much for all of the encouraging words, they really mean a lot to me. I have truly been touched by all of the thoughts and feelings the readers of this blog have shared with me. I am inspired by all of you.
    Please feel free to share, and enter your email address if you would like to receive updates when a post is made.
    ...more to come soon

  3. Missy, I remember the day and night well. At the Monte Bean Museum at BYU with scouts, Jed called saying Travis was injured in an accident. We came right down in Scout Uniform to see you. It was a long drive to SLC Primary Children's Hospital that night. You and Jed held it together so well and were a good model for the next year trying to adapt. Sure love you and Travis. Saw a post by his uncle (Your brother) a few weeks back of Travis golfing using only his left arm and hitting a nice shot down the fairway! Great people in the Ashton family, that is for sure! Andrew Ford

    1. I'm so glad you were there that night Andrew, and we're able to drive us and help give Travis a blessing. I will always appreciate that! We miss your family!

  4. Ive had the pressure of knowing Travis for alot of years now...I can remember when his Dad and I would be at the softball fields..And Travis would want to play the games there but he couldnt reach the joy stick to play the game i would pick him up to play the games..Now fast forward many years forward and Travis is now picking me up in a differnt way..Travis has really helped me through some tuff times these last few years...I look up to Travis he is such a smart young man and just plan amazing person...God has look down on us and gave you Travis in our lives and what i gift you are to all of touch so many lifes your just awesome buddy ..thank you for being my friend...As for Missy wow cant say enough about her..what a amazing mother and person....She is just awesome i love you guys and thank you for sharing yours and travis brings a tear to my eye when i read it...I remember Bobby and i talking about this alot........Than after that tear i smile thinking of Travis and that wonderful smile of his..............

    1. Thank you Chuck, I appreciate all of your kind words. Travis really loves you, and so does Bobby:)

  5. Thank you for sharing your story and your strong faith! Your words are in inspiration that God is always with us.

    1. Thank you so much, it has meant a lot to us, the wonderful response we have received from this blog. Thanks for reading...more posts to come:)


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