I'm sitting here, watching Monday Night Football, of all things. Hubby's gone to bed. My mind wanders to my children. My son, Richard, was lost due to a car accident 17 years ago. It feels like forever ago; it feels like yesterday. I lost half of my soul that day. It's been 17 years, yet here I am, crying, with no one to talk to. My wonderful daughter, Julie, now lives in Texas with her hubby and six cats. Yes, I have no grandchildren, I have grand-kitties. She is the other half of my soul. I'm not sure why I am typing these words tonight. I just feel so alone in this world. Hubby is not the father of my children. Although he says he understands, he is uncomfortable when I talk about Richard. No one wants to talk about him; it's too awkward. Most of my current friends never knew him. It's almost like he never existed. Richard did exist. He was born January 26, 1980, in Dalton, Georgia. My first child. My only son. As he grew, he was a handful, always independent. His sister was born 23 months later. When they were 11 and 9, their father left us. Yes, he left not just me, but all of us. He did not want anything to do with his children and, in fact, never saw Richard again, only showing up at the funeral 8 years later. Richard was a chore to raise. He was found to have a genius IQ. He was a very inquisitive child. I came home from work many times to "smells" in the house from Richard experimenting. He would burn different things to see what color the flame would be. He soaked a garden glove in whatever chemicals he could find in the kitchen and garage because his friends said it would help him grip a football. His math teacher in the 6th grade told me he couldn't wait until Richard graduated his class because his math skill were beyond his teacher! He graduated with a 4.0 average, National Honor Society, in 1998, and immediately joined the Marines. I last saw him over the Christmas holidays in 1998. My "problem child" was a man! I was so proud of him. On New Year's Eve, 1998, Richard went to MOS school in California. That's the training the Marines give for whatever career he chooses, which was communications. On August 5, 1999, Lance Corporal Richard C. Ellis graduated second in his class. Since he bought a pick-up while in California, he had to drive it home instead of flying. While driving through Texas on August 6, my beloved son fell asleep behind the wheel. He hit the guard rail, over-compensated, and his truck flipped numerous times. A nurse actually witnessed the accident and tried to administer first aid, but it was too late. My only consolation is that he didn't suffer. I apologize for the lengthy post. I also apologize if this makes anyone feel uncomfortable. I just want you all to know my child did exist, and I'm feeling low tonight.