Welcome back everyone! This past week was my 3rd son’s birthday (4/21). He would have been 31 this year, but is now celebrating his birthday in Heaven. Happy Birthday Bryce Lee. Mamma loves you son!
This week seemed appropriate to write about the cross at the side of the road, where a mother loses her son long before his time. Yes, for those of you who know me on an personal level, July 21, 2015 will be the 10th anniversary of Bryce Lee, my third son’s return to Heaven.
Ten years has passed since I had written my third book in the memory of Bryce to help grieving parents and families cope with the many levels of pain that death’s suffering leaves behind.
“Why we Cry for a Soul set Free” is the story of how I dealt with the death of my third child, one of the most traumatic experiences a parent can go through. Bryce Lee Haugen was the third of my four sons and the bravest human being I’ve ever known. Bryce was my special child; he had been diagnosed with epilepsy and mild mental retardation at a very young age. With his limitations, his life was a challenging one, but despite the treatment he sometimes received from those who couldn’t accept or understand him, he always looked at life in a positive way and loved people unconditionally.
Aside from the book I wrote in 2005, there has been tremendous healing and transformation that has taken place in our family since that day. In this blog I am not going to write about the powerful message you get from my book because each of you can read the book and gain your own perspective. But what I did want to emphasize in this week’s blog is the common practice of “no helmet” while riding four wheelers, motorcycles, dirt bikes, scooters, mopeds, any motorized vehicle and the important message I have for all of you, whether you are the driver or the passenger in any of these situations. Truthfully, Bryce was not wearing a helmet when riding his four wheeler, but if he had, I know without a doubt that he would still be with us today.
In this world there is such a heavy emphasis on “status symbols”. What I mean by this is just this, we as humans consciously believe that the home we live in, what we drive, our job title, not the richness of our soul, but the richness of our bank account, the clothes we wear and who are social circle happens to be are all “status symbols” that we use to compare ourselves to others, to judge each other, and what we see as “important stuff” rather than “unimportant stuff”. Actually because we get so fixated on the status symbols of this world our souls shrink and life becomes this big masquerade, and all of us us are simply “actors on stage” worrying about what our outside looks like, without concentrating on fixing the inside.
I’ve seen this too many times…if not most of the time. Bikers on Harly’s who are pimped out in leather chaps, biker’s gear that makes them look “cool” on their bikes – and every time it’s without a helmet. Helmets don’t fit into the dress code when riding a motorcycle because helmets don’t make us look cool on our bike…am I wrong? This is a prime example of “status symbols” where we worry more about what we look like on the outside, rather than what we look like on the inside. And as a result of concentrating only on our outward appearance, we jeopardize our physical safety so we look good and impress others. And then when a tragic accidents occur such as Bryce’s or on a motorcycle due to the fact that they weren’t wearing helmets, everybody scratches their heads in awe and wonders how in the world something like this could happen.
Yes, my son was in a tragic four wheeler accident, along with two other vehicles on a major highway without a wearing a helmet. And the crazy part of that is everyone walked away without a scratch except for Bryce. Did he own a helmet? Yes, years prior to his accident I bought him one and insisted that he wear it. Did he wear it consistently when he rode his four wheeler? No. And the reason was because he was teased and made fun of by others when he did put it on. So again, my son was vulnerable to what society considers important – status symbols and looking good for others.
As a result of falling victim to the weight of the world, my son’s life ended before his time. He died twelve hours later at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota from a very horrific highway accident due to the simple fact that he was not wearing his helmet.
When the phone rang that July evening to tell me my twenty-one year old son was fighting for his life, my heart was shattered into a million pieces within seconds. While the rest of the world was sleeping peacefully, Bryce was fighting for his life. Despite twelve hours of intense medical attention by a staff at the Mayo Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital professionals, Bryce died from “cerebral edema with herniation” on July 21, 2005 at 6:30 p.m., a time that will be forever instilled in the memories of my family. We had lost a son, a brother, a loved one.
If you get nothing else out of my blog this week…please, I pray that all of you will take the initiative and enforce a helmet anytime you have the influence or authority with family and friends and even strangers…Trust me, you do not want to visit a cross on the side of a road or a cemetery in order to express your love to someone who has lost their life before their time. After the tragic that my family had endured, would you please listen to my words and the pain of my heart to please put on the helmets before riding…it’s a choice that each of us has, and it will not only preserve lives, but will allow loved ones to remain here on earth without being forced to leave before their time.
Blessings until next week,
Debra M. Pauli