John S 1970-1990

by Lucus
(St. Paul, MN)

A mother should not have to bury a child!

A mother should not have to bury a child!

John and I had been friends from 2nd grade thru high school.The day we became friends. He stuck up for me on the playground. He was shorter than me. But he stood toe to toe with kids taller than me. For him it was true that its not the size of the dog, but the fight in the dog. What he couldn't argue and win, he would win with brawn. We walked to and from grade school everyday. Like many kids played Monopoly, chess, cribbage.We graduated high school together. We grew up together. In every sense of the word best friends if not brothers.
After graduation I was on my own. I had a job. Paid rent bills etc. John was in party mode. He was able to kick back at his parents house, save some money, and enjoy his summer :-)I have to admit I was a little envious of his situation. But had the shoe been on the other foot I would have done the same.
Friday night, four of us were out and about, had just got a case of beer.5 minutes later we were pulled over. Hadn't even had a drink yet. The beer was confiscated. All four of us got ticketed for underage consumption/possession. And I ended up in jail for outstanding tickets. Great night! I got to spend the night in jail and nobody came to bail me out.My one phone call went to an answering machine. And John was afraid to tell my parents. John and I argued over it and I told him I didnt want to talk to him until he had responsibility of his own. I was angry at him and at myself. John was persistent. He called nearly everyday and would leave messages on the answering machine. As painful as it was I told him to get his life together and call me then. After a few weeks the calls stopped! It was kinda weird. Never knew John to give up on proving his point. As it was my only contact with him I kinda missed it. Weeks had passed. And I started getting calls again. He found a full time job and cut down on the partying. I was happy for him. It sounded like a positive direction! Another couple weeks passed and I got a call from John's sister. The message said John was in an accident. I got in my car and drove to his parents house. His car wasn't in the drive way. I went into the house somewhat panicked. Went into his room.....he wasn't there. As I came down the steps I saw his Dad. I asked " where is he?" he replied " he's not here" The expression on his face struck me to the bone. I was in shock! "which hospital is he at?" ......."he's gone." I felt like the weight of the world had knocked me to the ground! This is not happening. It was the first time since I knew John and his family that I had seen his father cry. The moment was heart crushing. Probably one of the saddest moments in my life to this day.
John and his fiancee were coming back from the drive-in very late. They were traveling east bound on 94 toward St. Paul. The exhaust on John's car started dragging and sparking. John pulled over to the shoulder at 94 and Hwy 61.They both got out of the car. She was on the shoulder watching traffic and he was behind the car.A drunk driver in a full size pick up hit John and his 1974 Monte Carlo at an estimated 100 plus mph. John's fiancee said it came so fast the breeze nearly blew her down without warning. John was killed instantly! And the driver of the pick up also killed on impact. Had she been in the car. It would have been likely she would have been severely injured or killed from the shock of the impact as well.
The driver of the pick up apparently had been moving to an apartment and drinking most of the day. It was suspected that he had passed out or fallen asleep with his foot on the accelerator.
Watching and living in the aftermath of this tragedy has been unbearable. The pain of the parents losing their only son. A sister losing a brother. A happy young couple torn apart.
As for me I lost a best friend. Whom I will always consider my brother. 20 years later that void has never been filled! I have lived with a regret of being stubborn and not talking to John for the last 3 months of his life! I have lived with anger of not being able to talk to John right now! And as much as I have forgiven the poor soul who took John from us. I still grieve. It still hurts! And I still miss him!

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