“We should’ve just stayed”
The love of my life my protector and better half is now really gone.
Seven years ago our family was torn apart by Satan and even the promise of forgiveness it wasn’t enough to keep us together.
Satan and his evil way of manipulating with pride.
I had to mourn him seven years ago. I drank and I listened to sad songs and cried.
Now I get to do it again and it’s not fair.
Bryan loved everyone so much with all his heart. He wasn’t afraid of anything. Ever.
He had a soft quiet laugh that came from his soul. That laugh I heard many many times. I shared his joyous love of our children.
The day that each of them was born he was right there beside me. With Ariel he held my hand and told me I was doing great. (To which I replied, “Yeah I bet you say that to all the girls” ) He laughed and laughed. When Ariel was born after I was in labor for two days he took such tender care of me. I remember being home from the hospital and sitting in the livingroom trying to put on a smile and happy face but I could not hide my pain from him. He asked me sweet as only he could… “Your hurting aren’t you?” He would bend over backwards and jump fire hoops to take away my pain. He would never deny me anything if I needed it. When Ariel came into the world our bond got stronger we loved each other so much.
But money was tight and bills had to be paid. We spent many hours apart working opposite shifts at the nursing home.
He worked mornings and I worked evenings. Well Bryan was a friendly guy and would hang out with friends while I was working. Ariel was just a baby and babies aren’t that much fun. Lol well Bryan had a few friends and ended up getting a little to close to one of them and I would not tolerate it. I left him. Dec 1996. Ariel was nine months old.
We went to Anchorage, Alaska. But not before I went through all of our pictures and separated them.
There was a pile on the bed that I had left for him. It broke my heart to leave but I could not stay if he was going to be out dancing with other women while I was at home with our daughter.
During that time he decided she was not worth it. He wanted his family back. So we got back together. I came back to Seattle with Ariel but we both decided when Ariel was 18 months
old it would be best to move and start fresh. We moved to Arizona. We lived in Golden Valley seven miles off the highway on a dirt road. We had a very humble life living in a small cab over camper behind his mom and her husband Steve. Our camper had no air conditioning so we spent the hot days inside their trailer. It was a very rustic way of living but we all were pretty dang happy. Even grouchy Steve.
Then JB needed help and wanted to get out of Cass Grand so we welcomed him into our little camper where we all lived. Small living space but still we were happy…
This was when Bryan got the break he had been waiting for. North Star Steel offered him a job and made many promises of wealth and success. He worked HARD. Twelve hour rotating shifts. He would work nights for two weeks then days for two weeks continuously.
He made a name for himself there. He made many good lifelong friends there.
First we moved to a trailer park with JB for a few months then we ended up wanting our own place. We moved to a two bedroom apartment in Kingman when Ariel was around two. We made somewhat of a mistake moving in above his friend and his family. We never were a very quiet family and little Ariel was pitter pattering all over the floor all the time. They were always very kind about it but would sometimes mention that they could hear us and her. Malaki came to visit and sometimes Taylor would stay a while because Katie was still small and she was pregnant with Samantha.
We grew tired of apartment living. So we moved back to Golden Valley. We lived in a decent sized mobile home on a road named “Mobile”. I loved it. It was off the highway on a dirt road but not as far as his mom’s place.
Not long after moving into this home we got the call that Malaki was very ill in the hospital and about to die. Malaki had gotten an infection after Samantha was born an her body was overrun with infection because she had no spleen. Her spleen was ruptured in a car accident when she was nine.
Bryan would not have it. His sister was NOT going to die. She had 4 babies and he would move mountains for her to live. He went against their beliefs to refuse blood transfusions and donated his blood to her. This has been a sensitive subject in the family but it just shows how deep he loved his family.
All I could do was pray and plead with God to spare her life.
She lost her leg below the knee but her life was spared. I spent a lot of time with her in the hospital. I loved her and cared for her as if she were my own sister. (I still would do the same and love her the same)
That is where Bryan Jr was conceived and where we lived when we brought him home.
My dad came to stay with us for awhile when we lived there. But we ended up having some problems with the landlord and ended up moving again.
Back to Kingman again. This time a friend of his from work (I can not for the life of me remember his name but I always reminded me of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. ) owned a house that he needed to rent out it was just our size. We lived fairly happily there until a few things happened that rocked our world. The first was in Sept 11, 2001.
The next was when Ariel was five and a man who was friends with his mom molested her.
Shortly after that we left. We moved to Valle
a small place between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.
I worked at a hotel as a front desk clerk while he looked for work. I believe it was here that plumbing became his next career move.
We lived with the Craghead family for awhile until we got a small rental at the hotel “The Grand Canyon Inn” I worked for the tourist season.
The season was almost over when I got a call. My sister’s had been trying to find me for months. My mother had passed away in April. They finally reached me in August I believe.
Anyway the job that I had there was seasonal and the season was over so we had to move. So we moved closer to Flagstaff but still on the outskirts in Bellemont.
It was a beautiful mobile home in the woods. We were in HEAVEN there. I got a job close by at the travel stop as a fuel desk clerk. He started his work as a plumbers apprentice.
I remember when he came home from work and I would greet him at the door. He was so happy that I loved our home and loved taking care of it with him.
We were SO happy.
That happiness was shattered after Bryan welcomed his friend and his friends girlfriend to stay with us so they could straighten out their lives and get off drugs.
I can not place blame on anyone but one morning his friend ran into our room screaming that his baby was dead.
Bryan jumped up. Ran to their room picked up her tiny lifeless body and attempted CPR. I saw her and drive as fast as I could to the phone at the travel stop because we had no service on our cell phones out in there.
I called 911 Bryan did his best to revive her. But he was not able to. She was gone.
That devastated our happiness. Bryan wouldn’t sleep in the house the first night and actually spent the night in the car. I however went to my room to my bed and stayed there for three days. I had no intention of coming out. I didn’t think I deserved to live and enjoy my kids when this 7 month old baby girl had died. In my home.
He finally came to me the third day and got through to me he said to me. “WE ARE STILL HERE. YOU CAN NOT JUST STAY IN HERE”
It was so hard. But I did it. For him and for our two children. Bryan Jr. Was 2 and slept in our bed. He was in our bed the night she died.
The home changed after that though. We could not find the happiness we had there in the past. She haunted my thoughts and his. We were so heartbroken it was as if we had lost our own child.
We ended up moving again. This time we moved with family. We lived in Gilbert with my brother for awhile then we lived in Arizona city near Malaki and then we lived in Glendale with his dad and Donna.
Then… We went back to Flagstaff. Enough time had passed that we had healed and wanted to go back to the place we loved. We rented a small 2 bedroom apartment and lived very happily there for a few years. This is where Lucius was conceived. I worked as a caregiver for a company doing in home care. Bryan was plumbing. When I was about seven months pregnant something happened… I don’t know what. Rent didn’t get paid or Idk what happened. But we had to move again. I remember I was 7 months along and I was moving our washing machine myself. Not because he was lazy but because it needed to be done. (He ended up coming and helping me so I didn’t get hurt) We moved everything all the time by ourselves. No one ever helped us. This caused Bryan great pain. He would cry to me “why can’t anyone help us?? Why does everyone always want us to help them but when we need help they turn their backs to us?” I had no answer.
We moved in with his dad and Donna again. I was not happy but tried to make the most of it.
He became bitter and angry. He would tell me I wasn’t doing enough and I needed to get out and work. I never worked when I was late pregnant with Ariel or Bryan Jr. I had no options. We only had one vehicle and no one could handle our kids. I could hire a babysitter but that was not logical. I would work to pay the babysitter and it just didn’t make sense.
Right before Lucius was born we moved into a nice house in El Mirage. I loved it. He HATED it.
He was gone a lot working and then he hurt his shoulder.
He couldn’t work. We lost the house. We had to say goodbye to everything again. I had just gotten Lucius a bouncer. He sat in it once. We left it behind.
2006 We left El Mirage for Flagstaff again. This time we stayed with JB & Kristen for awhile. Until we got into a huge fight and I locked him out of the house and he kicked in the door. We both ended up in jail
After that we stuck together. We were homeless and living in the woods in the rain in Flagstaff with Lucius just learning to walk. But we stuck together. We lived in a homeless shelter for awhile
He got a job I got a job and money started rolling in. We had gotten that grill and he loved it. But he needed a surgery on his shoulder so he had pain a lot. We moved from the homeless shelter into a small cute/cozy little house that was way too expensive.
I was still working as a caregiver Lucius was about 2 when a lady I took care of committed suicide while I was in the home. This was a huge traumatic experience for me. He was working in Phoenix. I had to mourn and make sense of the tragedy pretty much on my own. I missed him terribly. My heart was in pieces. I couldn’t stay in Flagstaff without him. So. We packed up and moved again. Back to Phoenix where we stayed in an Extended Stay hotel for a long time. Until we were finally able to move into another home. This time back in El Mirage again. Ariel was able to be reunited with her friends and it was a pretty good home for awhile.
This is when the shit hit the fan.
I ended up leaving him to protect my daughter.
I had no other choice. I loved him so much.
I NEVER EVER wanted to abandon him. We were a team. He was my partner my best friend my forever.
I was devastated.
I cried for him as if he had died. I truly did. But he didn’t and I still saw him occasionally and it was so hard not running into his arms to kiss him every time I saw him. It got easier after Monica was in the picture but at first…. man I wanted to be back with him so bad. I missed our family.
Then he married Monica. I freaked. I was hurt again…
Not long after that he went to prison and I made amends with Monica. After my son Bryan pleaded with me to please stop being a jerk because it hurt him.
I did not want to cause anymore pain for them. None. So I apologized to Monica and Malaki. Monica never really trusted or liked me though. I did try. It was hard having to talk to Bryan Sr. Thru her. But I accepted it.
I limited contact with him to the bare minimum. Most of the time just going through Bry. Jr when I could.
Last year I was low on money and needed to buy Lucius his meds so I sent a text to them asking if they could help. I got no answer. I got mad. I told them both off. Because Lucius was out of his meds and they couldn’t even help get them. We ended up getting into a nasty little text fight. I told him off. He told me off. I regret saying the things I said to him now. I was informed by Bryan Jr. That his dad was struggling just to pay rent because he had hurt his back at work. I did not know at the time that he had CRUSHED vertebrae in his spine. And was still trying to work hard and take care of Monica at the same time building a strong bond with Bry Jr. Through football. It didn’t strike me as a real issue until I saw the picture of Bryan Sr. In the hospital.
When I saw that picture I knew it was bad. But lips were kept tight and I was not told any details.
When I picked up Bryan and Lucius for their summer vacation I knew Sr was home in pain and it was his spine. Lucius came up to me and the first thing he said to me before he even said “hi mom” He said “Mom dad really does love you.” And he was standing right there not saying anything.
I was taken off guard and said awkwardly avoided the topic.
I hugged Bryan Jr. Looked at Sr. And saw a completely different man than I had known.
He was small and frail. He was bald (but that was normal) But his facial hair was white. I could tell instantly that he was not well. (Still didn’t know how bad)
His eyes were pleading with me.
I looked at him and softly told him “wow Bryan you look terrible. You need to get yourself better please take care of yourself. ” I told him I loved him In the non verbal way that I could.
Monica had arrived at the top of the stairs and I did not want any problems. We waved goodbye to Monica said Goodbye to Bryan Sr and walked to my car.
I had no idea it would be the last time I would see him alive.
I wish we would’ve just stayed….