I walk on the pavement and feel the hard cement roll under my sole as I take each step. The air is warm with just a hint of a chill, reminiscent of a fall day. I think to myself, “When was the last time I was here?” Then, it occurs to me: it was before. Just two days before. The Friday before. I came to the exact spot and ordered the exact same lunch. I sit outside at this small organic café in Northport, trying hard to not think. A car slowly pulls into the angled parking spot right in front of me. I slowly look up and see a white Mercedes SUV and my heart skips a beat and that familiar ache returns. It feels like claws have entrapped my heart, the muscle has been pierced and it is suffocating me. I stare at the headlights and the silver 3-point star emblem and wonder, “Is that the last image my son saw? Was he scared or confused? Did he know he was about to be struck? Did he scream?” These thoughts replay in my mind and I cannot escape the torture.
On September 30, 2018 at 1:54 p.m., I received the worst call of my life from my husband. He was doing a 10-mile hike with the Boy Scouts and I thought – that’s strange, why is he calling now? I answered the call and on the other side was the sound of a commanding terrified voice, “Please come quick. Andrew got hit by a car. I don’t know how to help him.” I yelled, “WHAT?” and said, “Oh GOD is he breathing?” And I heard my husband yell to the other Scoutmasters around him in a high-pitched terrified voice that cracked: “Is he breathing?” The sound of my husband’s voice echoes in my brain. I asked him where they were, but he couldn’t answer … “Oh Alisa… Please come quick. I don’t know what to do. He is bleeding. His legs are broken and he isn’t moving.” I called my daughter and we quickly began to travel to the crash scene. As I looked over at my daughter, I knew she could sense my feeling of dread. Yet I couldn’t tell her what I was thinking because I didn’t want her to start drowning in the same horrible thoughts as mine.
My life now is separated into before and after. To be completely honest, the impact Andrew’s loss has had on me is completely overwhelming and the ripple effect of his death is like a tsunami for myself and all of those around. How do I explain the loss of our sweet boy? How do I process my child being ripped from me due to the irresponsible selfish actions of one intoxicated person? Why didn’t anyone stop him? How do I begin to explain how this has impacted my life? I am now a person I do not recognize and each day I wake up trying desperately to be the Mom Andrew would remember, the Mom my daughter Arianna wants back… but I am different. I do not know how to do this….
To be honest, I was completely lost until I received a postcard in the mail from MADD victim services. I called the number and from that moment on, MADD representatives were there for us. They came to our home during the worst days of our lives, took our hand through grief and sorrow, through countless court appearances, through the whirlwind of the judicial system and stayed through the deafening silence of the after. They helped us take a step forward and find purpose in our life again.
Please help my family turn our grief into action by supporting MADD’s campaign to stop this 100% preventable crime by visiting their website, making a donation or participating in their mission to have a world of No More Victims®.
Mother of Andrew Spencer McMorris
Killed by a drunk driver September 30, 2018