Caleb was born on May 28, 1997. He was always on the go and couldn’t sit still for very long. He had to be doing something all the time. Caleb had a really big heart and tried to make sure everyone was happy. He had a strong desire to please. Caleb was the first one to jump in if anyone needed help. He could make you laugh, even when you were mad at him or he was in trouble. He was outgoing and liked living on the edge. Caleb had a great big dog, Ursa, that he loved.
Caleb loved cars. He had a Mustang and was helping his older brother to fix up a car he had bought. He didn’t really like school because he had to sit still but if he could use his hands to fix something, he was right there. Caleb was very mechanically inclined and often worked on cars. He was the one in the family to figure out how to fix something when it was broken.
Caleb always talked about getting a motorcycle. I told him he couldn’t because I wanted him to live longer than me. But Caleb felt he was invincible. He would tell me that nothing bad could happen to him. He was a bit of a risk taker too. When he was old enough to get a motorcycle on his own, he did. The crash happened a week before Caleb’s 18th birthday. It was late and he was going too fast as he entered a roundabout.
He hit the curb, flew off his motorcycle, and slammed into a wall. Caleb wasn’t wearing a helmet.
At about 2 o’clock that morning, I heard our dog barking. I got up and heard someone knocking on the door. It was the police. My first thought was, “Why are the police here at 2 o’clock in the morning?” That’s when they told me Caleb had been killed in a motorcycle crash.
I think about Caleb a lot. When I go outside to work in the yard, I remember him. He was the one who helped me take care of the yard more so than any of my other children. His siblings miss him a lot. Caleb’s death has been the hardest on his younger brother, who is only a year-and-a-half younger than him. They were very close.
When I’m driving down the road and I see a motorcyclist who isn’t wearing a helmet, it makes my stomach drop. It’s so hard to see that. You don’t realize how short life can be and how critically important your decisions are. One second, and your life is gone.