Thursday, September 11, 2008

So Proud

I am so proud of myself. I got to speak at press conference for the state of Utah, about fatal automobile accidents and teenage drivers. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Just the deciding to do it was hard. It brought up so many emotions. Now that it is over I know that it was the right thing to do. I know that it is what Kiefer would have wanted, and hopefully because of this press conference maybe some other family will not have to go through losing a child. I hope Kiefer is proud of me. It was really scary talking in front of all those people and cameras. I can hear him saying ,"mom it is not that big of a deal". Well anyway... I was on Fox 13's news last night, (Kiefer always loved attention) and also today in the Daily Herald. Here is the picture that was in the paper and just what was said under the picture. There is a nice article if you want to look it up on line. Well anyway, some people have asked to read my entire talk so I am going to add it at the bottom. Thank you Tracy for all your help and thank you and my mom for going with me.

Kim Sandoval remembers her son, Keifer, who died last year in a single car accident on his way to school in Lehi. Sandoval is one of several families who have lost a teenage in car accidents who have told their story as part of a teenage driving campaign through the Utah Department of Heath Violence and Injury Prevention Program. Photo taken at a press conference Thursday, September 11, 2008 in Salt Lake City.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Family remembers teen driving danger

Kiefer's Story:
One year and 18 days ago I lost my oldest son Kiefer Nicolas Sandoval in a single vehicle accident, two weeks before his 17th birthday. Kiefer was beautiful, caring, and intelligent. He was the debate team president, a son, brother, and friend. Kiefer had an ineffable sense of joy about life. He had a thousand watt smile. He knew how to laugh at himself and make others laugh. Sometime Kiefer would laugh about some joke that he found so hilarious he would fall helpless on the floor but was incapable of telling you why he was laughing. When this would happen you would just start laughing at him you couldn’t help it. The joy that Kiefer found in life was contagious.

He loved long boarding, listening to his iPod, going golfing, reading and hanging out with friends. He has a definite sense of self. He didn’t care what anyone thought. He could as easily stand on the stage at the Shakespere Festival in Cedar city and perform a monologue from Julius Caesar, or make a fool of himself riding a toy horse through Wal-Mart in front of a bunch of girls as he could debate private healthcare issues with a doctor. Kiefer dressed like he wanted and said what he wanted; even if it wasn’t want everyone else would want to hear. He lettered in debate his sophomore year and was an award winning writer. His creative writing teacher actually kept everything that he wrote in class because she was sure that he one day would be a famous.

Kiefer loved with all his heart. He had so many friends and made more everywhere he went. He had an affinity for those in need and extended himself to people who may have needed a friend or a shoulder. Kiefer wanted nothing more than to help people and make them happy.
My son, a beautiful teenage boy was smart, ambitious, loving and passionate, talented and imaginative. He had dreams of Yale, the Peace core and eventually a career as an attorney. All of his dreams were taken away in mere seconds.

Kiefer left for his fourth day of his junior year with his younger brother, Kyler, (age 15) at 7:00 AM. It was August 24, 2007, a beautiful and sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. I told my boys goodbye, to have a good day at school and that I loved them. My sons got into Kiefer’s car buckled up and headed to school taking center street on the east side of Lehi, a very narrow, hilly and winding road. As he headed up the hill he was slightly over the center line and going 10 to 15 miles over the posted speed limit of 25 mile per hour. At the same time there were two cars coming down the hill around a blind corner. When Kiefer saw the first car he swerved so as not to collide with it, he then overcorrected back across the center line where he saw the second. At this time he overcorrected again and his car left the road and rolled down an embankment. His car landed upside down, wedged against a tree. Kyler, who was basically unharmed, called me on his cell phone, telling me that they had been in an accident and that he thought that Kiefer was dead. I arrived at the accident before any emergency personal. Kyler had already helped two men that had stopped remove his brother from the car by lowering him from his seat beat and pulling him out the back window.

I will never forget the sight on my son lying in the dirt with these two strangers. I was just begging for him to breathe because I could see that his chest was not moving like it was supposed to. When the emergency personal finally arrived minutes later, I felt like it had been hours. They made Kyler and I go up the hill and wait. I am unsure of the events that followed or the amount of time that passed. I just know that at one point I was sitting in an ambulance when someone came and told Kyler and I that Kiefer hadn’t made it.

The death certificate said time of death was at 7:03 AM, three minutes after he left our driveway, on that beautiful day, less than ¼ mile from our home. On that day Kyler lost not only his big brother and best friend but his innocence. I lost my oldest son, and the world lost a beautiful person, one that would have certainly changed it if only given the time.

This last Sunday would have been Kiefer's 18th birthday. No parent should have to go the cemetery for their child’s birthday. Birthdays should be about happiness, not sadness and what if's. I hope Kiefer’s story will help other teenagers realize accidents can happen anytime, anywhere and even if they are going just a few miles over the speed limit. Accidents can still be deadly. No one is invincible. Please slow down.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kiefer's Birthday

18 years ago yesterday, I gave birth to the most wonderful little boy anyone could ask for. Kiefer weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and was 21 inches long. He was born at 3:34 PM during Days of Our Lives. He didn't want to come out and pretty much got completely stuck and so the doctors had to push him back in, then pull him out. OUCH!!!!! He was totally worth it in the end. He had ton of brown hair that stuck straight up and big brown eyes. Randy and I were so excited to have him with us. He was so cute and such a good baby. Kiefer never really took naps so when Kyler was born I thought that there was something wrong with Kyler because he slept all the time. This not needing much sleep continued his whole short life and now I believe that Kiefer knew somewhere inside of him that he was only going to be here for a short time and needed to make the most of it. Oh, and he did. It was really hard to keep him in the house. At night he had this problem with crawling out the window. I miss that boy more than anyone can possibly know. I even miss getting up to check on him in the midde of the night and only finding pillows, and I am sure Randy misses my 2:00 AM phone calls about Kiefer's whereabouts. To celebrate Kiefer 's Birthday, Kyler and I decided that Kiefer would have loved to go to Chucky Cheese. It was one of his favorite places as a little boy so why not? So on Saturday we all got together and went. We ordered pizza and all the teenagers had a great time (especially Kayla, she had never been there before). They played games and they all got a ton of tickets. I gave each of them a gift of one of Kiefer's loves... Pepsi, Rock Star, cookies ect. It was really fun, then they all said one thing that Kiefer loved and one thing that he hated. Some of his loves were: his phone, his ipod, Parker my niece said he loved her, which I thought was really cute. Somethings that he hated were rules, homework, and shallow minded people. We all had fun remembering and laughing at things Kiefer did. I love you so much Kiefer. Happy 18th Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The New Edition.....

We have a new edition to our family, a new grandson. Yeah, can you believe it I am a grandma at the age of 39. Well actually at 37 because Gabbie is 2 1/2. It is great to be a grandma. I love it, espeacilly because it is not Kyler's babies, not yet anyway. I am not ready for that. That is why this is so great. I get to be a grandma, but Kyler can still wait to have kids in like 10-15 years. I would love to see the kids everyday if I had the time. Jennie had our new little grandson on August 23, 2007 at 9:00 PM after a long 3 hours of labor (Yeah, wouldn't that be nice--3 hours, Lucky Girl). He weighed 5lbs 9 ozs, a whole 9 ozs bigger than his sister. He is so cute. Pete and I were lucky enough that we got to have Gabbie come play while mommie and daddie were at the hospital. Gabbie insisted that mommie was shopping not having her new brother. I feel so lucky to have these two wonderful little ones in my life.