My Son, My pride and Joy, My Miracle Baby COLBY
My Son Colby, was born about 10 weeks early and weighing in at a whooping 2 lbs 15 ozs, he spent most of his first year in and out of Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas. His Neonatal Doctor was a wonderful woman named Dr. Beverly Koop. She was our rock.........I got to know all the NICU staff and the Pedi unit were like family to me. We promptly put Colby into PT and OT to help him catch up with his motor skills and at 11 months of age when a surgery was done to fix his eyes, he was diagnosed with Styrbismus (a lazy eye), we were told then that he had mild Cerebral Palsy, that he may never walk or talk. Well Colby was a very determined young man and he learned to walk and talk both up a storm!!!!!!!!!! Shaun and I thought we had passed the Lord's test, we made it through a preemie birth, a year in and out of the Hospital, then years of rehab, we were still a family. Colby did well in his therapy, he did well in his preschool, he took to all the disabled children as they were his own. He not only could ride a bike, play Little League Baseball, he could run, jump, climb and drive anything with wheels, or drive the wheels off!!!!! My Mother's husband, my Step-Father (but there is no step in it, he is like a real Dad and a wonderful Papa to my children)Bill aka Papa always said "Colby you are my Hero", Colby would say "No Papa you're my Hero", even though they weren't blood related they acted just alike and Colby liked to make every step his Papa made and some his Papa would be to tired to make, Colby would drag him, they kept busy mowing the yard, trimming trees, flower beds, riding the 4 wheeler, fishing, just anything, Colby was a busy young man, but loved the company his Papa gave him. Colby had many friends in Teague Elem. school and Teague Jr. High. When Colby was to start the 7th grade we moved to Ackerman, Mississippi, so Shaun could take a job as a Plant Manager for Headwaters Resources, they handle the Ash Management of a Coal burning Power Plant. So we pick up, leave all the family we have, in our U-Haul we load our possessions, kids, pets, you name it and arrived in Ackerman on May 26th 2000. We (Shaun and I) had previously toured some schools and had decided we wanted to put our children in Ackerman School System, We met with Mr. Ronnie Ware, at that time the principal of AHS and told him, about Colby, how active he was and of his mild learning disabilities, he said "oh Colby will be no trouble, we can handle him" I told him if you don't watch out Colby will have a key to every building and running this school by the time school is out I gave him 9 months to take over, well by Christmas, Colby had a key to every building, field house, janitor closet, but most importantly a key to everyone's heart. They realized they had met a special young man. There was never any telling what story Colby might tell you, trust me, he embarrassed me so many a times and if he didn't have a story to tell, well give him a second and he'd make up one. He made many friends those first years in Mississippi, knew everyone and their Grandma. He was the football manager and talked to those players like he was the Coach and Colby could get away with it, same way with basketball, everyone loved Colby, protected him as he would them. Well he was a Freshman in HS and J. T. our oldest Son was a Senior. More and More Colby just idolized his older brother and wanted to go and do whatever he was doing.
On Jan. 11th, a normal Saturday evening, both the boys had been out working, Brady and I had been putting together a jig-saw puzzle and when the older boys got home we put that aside and were going to watch a movie in my room, Shaun had been gone for a few days duck hunting in Ark., we were expecting him home later that night. J. T. was going to play pool in Eupora with a friend and Colby wanted to go also, but J. T. had told him no, they both walked outside, I thought J. T. left alone and Colby was milling around outside, tinkering with an old lawn mower or he was always moving stuff with his dolly, riding the golf cart or a 4 wheeler....
Until that phone rings.........................................A friend Calls "Is Shaun home" no he hasn't made it back from his duck hunting trip. "Well Gala the boys have had a wreck" me confused, What boys? J. T. and Colby, have flipped the truck right down from your house, its pretty bad you better get down here. Well I threw on clothes and drove not a mile from my house to see police lights flashing and my oldest son trapped in his Ford Ranger, Colby was a long, lean guy, they had gotten him out threw the broken passenger window, neither were ejected, neither were wearing there seat belts, the police had said if J. T. had been wearing his, he would have died instantly. After a long wait the ambulance arrives and they were taken to Eupora Hospital, together in one ambulance. One of J. T.'s close friends and our neighbor, Nick Phelps drove Brady and I to the hospital, when we walked in they said Colby had stopped breathing, but they had him back and he was fighting and that was a good sign, yes I knew, Colby was always the fighter, the one that could endure, my Miracle Baby, my helper, my glue that held our peacefull little family together. Colby had talked to me in the ditch, telling me his back was hurting, his neck was hurting, for me to take him home, no more doctors, he had had enough of them. A kind neighbor had brought out a blanket to cover Colby, it was chilly outside and I'm sure he was in shock, at this point so was I. Colby was talking and fighting, I thought J. T. was the one hurt worse, he was unconscience, with obvious broken bones and trapped in the vehicle and at 6' 4", not a small one to remove. At the first Hospital they said
J. T. was stable and Colby would be life-flighted to Tupelo, a better trama center.....................It took forever for the life flight to arrive, so I stayed with both boys and sent Shaun on to Tupelo so he could meet the care flight and sign whatever needed to be done for Colby, I would stay with J. T. and be with Colby until the care flight landed then follow the ambulance to the same hospital. Before I could leave with
J.T. the Dr. calls me into another ER room and asks someone to come in with me, (keep in mind all my family is in Texas) my co-worker Lori was there and went in, the first thing he said was "The little one didn't make it" with those words my world as I knew it changed forever. You see there would no longer be 5 place settings at the table, no more laughter from Colby's Karoake, no more smiles that with those blue eyes would light up the room. Our family was now forever changed, our family tree broken, the family chain, missing a link, never will we be the same.....................I didn't want to leave that E R room, you see my horrible tragic reality was on the other side of that door, when I walked in I had hope, I had my 3 boys, now with those words spoken, my world changed, my son was gone forever.......Before they put Colby on the helicopter I went to him and said I love you and I'm right behind you, you will be alright, Momma is right here. I touched his arm and the very life I gave birth to, went straight through me, I could smell him, see him, feel him, so fast drifting away, I fell to my knees praying God this can not be happening he is going to a bigger hospital a better trauma center, don't take my baby now, he is too young, please God take me, not him, no bargaining would work, my baby, my beautiful blond haired, blue eyed, energetic son was needed in Heaven on that day. Yes I have asked the Lord a million times why, why him, why not take me, I'll gladly go in his place. I feel the Lord tells me I will know in time, but I do know with all my heart that Colby and I will be together again, we will meet at those Pearly Gates, it will rain that day from all the tears of joy from a Mom, that has missed her son, every second of every minute of every day of every month of every year.
My child so precious and sweet, my child so mischievious and energetic, so loved and now our family so lost.
J. T. had agreed to take Colby to a local hamburger place, his pay check was burning a hole in his pocket, he was going to let Colby ride to pick up his friend and then bring him home, well that friend ended up not being able to go, so they drove the back way home, which is a dirt road, with loose gravel, J. T. lost control the back end came around they hit a culvert, which sent them airbourne then into a tree. The impact was more than Colby's little body could handle, he died of internal bleeding.
At the hospital in Tupelo, the doctors had asked us not to tell J. T. about Colby until after his surgery, his surgery was to repair broken bones and fixed a torn spleen. We were sitting in a private family room, all the while Colby's friends and our new Mississippi friends had came by to offer help and condolences. The Doctor had now changed his mind, J. T. blood pressure was unstable and he was fighting mad to know how his little brother was doing, so Shaun and I go in to talk to J. T. I try without crying to explain to J. T. that Colby didn't make it, he immediately goes into shock and says "that's not possible Colby is the strong one, Colby is the fighter, from this second on, it was more than
J. T.'s mind could comprehend he believed his brother to be in the next room and once they both got home they would both heal fine. J. T.s surgery went well and after he was back in his room and our family from Texas had made the 10+ hour drive, we left my Mom with J. T. and go to make funeral arrangements, I try to explain to J. T. where we are going and that Nana is here to stay with you, he explains that Colby is fine and there was no need for Nana, Papa, Auntie to drive all this way. I call in a nueroalogist to evaluate in case of head injuries, he told me, it was more than J. T.'s mind and body could comprehend, he was in a severe case of denial. With J. T. resting Shaun, and I, Shaun's brother Mark and his wife Peggy go to the Funeral home. It hadn't been a year since we had buried Shaun and Mark's Mother, Juanita Ivey in April, 2002, then in August Shaun and Mark's brother died of renal cancer and now Colby. This becoming an all too familiar ritual, now for Shaun and I, it was our son, our future, an awful thing for a parent to have to do, no one should ever outlive their children. The book to our lives was still being written, but for Colby, I could see his story ending, his book closing.........
The Funeral home, so hard, so final. No new car were we buying today, today we are picking out a casket.................
One of the ironies of this, is how my Mother and my Sister in Texas, knew how badly the boys were hurt and after I call to tell them they had been in a wreck, they gather a few clothes and start towards Mississippi. I wasn't coherit enough to have told them how bad it was, as I was in shock and didn't really know, myself. They had reached Henderson Texas when my Mother got a cell phone call, a friend calls my Mother and gives her the news no Grandmother, no Nana ever wants to hear, "Colby didn't make it"........ My Sister and her family were following in a car immediately behind my Mother and Papa, she knew when Papa slows to the shoulder of the road and my Mother, My sweet Mother leaves the car gasping for air, and collapses to the ground, my sister then knew that her Sister's life would forever change, her life, her nephew was gone, they still had many miles to drive before reaching the hospital, J. T., our family. They were too far to turn around and go back to get clothes for the funeral. Some friends of Mother and Lanett gathered their clothes and a friend of Papa's drove to Mississippi to bring there attire. To this day I don't know this man's name, but I thank him and applaud him for coming to a family in their time of need.
Did all this happen so fast in my mind or was it in slow motion?????Your body goes numb, you are in shock, denial. So much of his funeral in Mississippi, it comes and goes, like was that real or have I forgotten. Then Colby is transported to Texas, where we have so much family, we were asked if we could handle another visitation, we agree it was the right thing to do, and selfishly more time I get to spend with Colby. My greatest fear was them closing the lid, never to be opened again, that final good-bye.
Things I wish I would have done: taken a picture, some think this morbid, but when all you have left is pictures, take them. Gotten a lock of Colby's hair to keep, it wasn't offered and I didn't think to ask. I wish I had videoed the services, so that the one day when I could handle it, I would be able to hear the words that were spoken, hear the beautiful voices sung for my son. On that day the Lord is holding you so close, nothing mental is really funtioning, just letting the Lord lead, guide, guard and direct you. So much of the first year is blocked out, too painful to remember, your bodies protective mechanism kicks in and what you can not handle, the Lord deals with. If any information is usefull please do what you need to do, take the time you need to take. Put up the boards of pictures, play a video, but remember to take something home a flower, a memento, a penny found on the ground, you thought someone dropped, might just be a penny from Heaven and just for Mom.
We chose to bury Colby in Teague, Texas, that is where our family is and where Colby would want to be laid, This is where I will sleep in eternal rest next to our beloved son. Where his Papa and Nana could look after him or his cemetery plot, Papa says "Colby would have done it for me" and he is right Colby would have drove hours to take care of his Papa's grave if that had been the case.
Its been 4ys 8 months, I have smiled, I am learning its ok to laugh again, but one of my reasons for living is now in Heaven. Grieving is a hard job, a full time job, its a long road, and my shoes are worn from the long journey, but on the other side of this journey, when my time is called, I will be reunited with my Beloved Son, My Angel Colby........
When asked how I felt in the beginning, I tell everyone its like swimming in the ocean, you tread water, thinking you are ok one second then a wave takes you under, you can't breath, you have panic, you are tried of treading water, you are exhausted. I haven't taken a good deep breathe since Colby's last breathe. For me is doesn't get easier, each day is a struggle, I wake each morning asking the Lord to help me through another day. There will never be normal, my life is forever changed, broken.
Well as always life takes many twists and turns, as I mentioned earlier Colby was our glue, and without going into too many details Shaun and I divorced in 2011. I live alone in Texas with my memories and my heart breaks each day for the life he would have had, what would he be today. I know I have mentioned when I get to Heaven I have many questions to ask, but those answers won't matter, then...... I lost alot of pictures and mementos in the divorce, things that meant something to only me. So I cherish these sites I created before I lost the pictures you see here. As I see many of Colby classmates marry and have children, I know Colby is looking down from Heaven so proud for them, but my heartstrings tug for part of my future left with Colby. Until we meet at the Gates...I carry you in every broken piece of my heart.
Colby Lee Ivey a Hero to Many, A Friend to Many More, A Son to Shaun Ivey of Ackerman, MS and Gala Pickett of Texas, a brother to J. T. Orand and Brady, A Grandson to Bill and Dianne Rutherford of Teague, Texas and Asa and Betty Pickett of Fairfield, Texas, a nephew to Lanett Utsey and Cullen Pickett both of Fairfield, Texas, a nephew to Mark & Peggy Ivey of Jewett, Texas, and Robbie Ivey of Marquez, Texas. His cousins are Heather and Ryan Utsey of Fairfield and Billy Ivey in the US Navy and Whitley Ivey from Conroe.
Also a new second cousin Kolten Max Schultz from Fairfield, TX, his mother is Heather Utsey.
Colby was preceded in death by his Paternal Grandparents Billy Max and Juanita Ivey and an Uncle Joel Max Ivey.
thank you to everyone who lights a candle and leaves a message it means the world to me.
please look for updates to his story as I am able to write and add more I will thank you for your patience.
Written and created by Angel ^i^ Colby's Mom Gala
"Grief isn't a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith..............
it is the price of love"
~Love doesn't end with dying
or leave with the last breath
for someone you have loved so deeply
Love doesn't end with death~
"It matters not how long a star shines,
What is remembered is the brightness of its light"