Posted by: Dutch | November 5, 2009

A farewell to Chad

As you grow older, your natural instinct is to perish the thought that you might outlive your loved ones or offspring. My maternal  foster grandmother outlived her spouse and all three of her daughters, my mother included, and died alone in a nursing home at the age of 96. Makes one wonder how and why such a thing could happen.

I’m sure my paternal grandparents never thought it could happen when they lost their only daughter (my aunt) while she was still in college.

My sister never thought it could happen to her either when her oldest daughter died suddenly twenty some years ago.

It happened to me when my wife had a stroke and died in 1995. She was 14 years my junior. In my book, it wasn’t time for her to go, but I had no say in the matter.

Now it has happened to our daughter with the vehicular-homicide death of my grandson Chad near Laytonville in Northern California on Halloween. Needless to say, it is an unspeakable tragedy for the family. As of this writing, the hit-and-run vehicle and driver have not been located.

Ko;ton and Chad(3)

Chad and nephew Kolton

Chad was 22, single, and about to go into the army. He had left a party to walk home and never made it. We may never know what really happened on that dark night.  Here is the official news report from The Willits News:

“Chad Andrew Davis, 22, of Laytonville, was run down and killed on Highway 101 by a hit-and run-driver near the Irvine Lodge Rest Area south of Laytonville in the early morning hours of October 31, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Davis was walking northbound on the east shoulder of the highway in the fog when an unknown vehicle ran over him, says the CHP. The hit-and-run driver continued without stopping.

State traffic officers were notified of Davis’ body in the roadway by passing motorists at about 5:50 a.m.

Anyone who may have seen anything at or around the time of the fatal collision is asked to contact the CHP at 707-923-2155.”

I never got to know Chad as well I should have.  He didn’t live nearby until about three years ago when he moved from Iowa to live with Mom. He was quiet and somewhat aloof around me and we just never bonded like we might have had I watched him grow up.

Then, just a month before his death, he stopped by my apartment unexpectedly. At first glancs, I embarrassed myself by mistaking him for his brother Brice. At any rate, we had a good visit and he told me of his frustrations with his Army recruitment program and how things were going at hoem. An animal lover, he told me he was raising chickens on the rural plot where he lived with Mom.

It was evident to me that Chad was maturing and would find his way in life given continued love and guidance; both of which I was very willing to give him as time went on.

We hugged when he left; something I have been accused in the past of not doing enough of. Had I known I would never see him again, I might have said something very grandfatherly and profound and hugged him even harder. I will always remember that last visit and how it seemed to me we had finally bonded.

– Dutch



  1. I love you Grandpa!


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