“Hush now, don’t you cry, wipe away the teardrop from your eye. You’re lying safe in bed. It was all a bad dream spinning in your head. Your mind tricked you to feel the pain of someone close to you leaving the game of life. So here it is, another chance. Wide awake you face the day!Your dream is over or has it just begun?There’s a place I like to hide – a doorway that I run through in the night. Relax child, you were there, but only didn’t realize and you were scared. It’s a place where you will learn to face your fears, retrace the years, and ride the whims of your mind. Commanding in another world, suddenly you hear and see this magic new dimension. I will be watching over you. I am gonna help you see it through. I will protect you in the night. I am smiling next to you, in silent lucidity. If you open your mind for me you won’t rely on open eyes to see. The walls you built within come tumbling down, and a new world will begin. Living twice at once you learn you’re safe from pain in the dream domain – a soul set free to fly. A round trip journey in your head. Master of illusion, can you realize? Your dream’s alive, you can be the guide but … I will be watching over you. I’m gonna help to see it through. I will protect you in the night. I am smiling next to you in silent lucidity.” ~ Queensryche
It was Mitch’s 34th birthday and he started his special day by making good on his promise to go to Christian’s school, meet the teachers and pick him up. At lunch, Mitch explained that he was going to marry us, we were going to be a family, and how happy he was that he was going to be a permanent part of his life. It was an extremely powerful, PIVOTAL moment for all of us and Christian was ecstatic. Later that day, we took Christian back to my mom so we could return home and get ready for his party that night. We had originally planned to ride out on our seperate Harleys and meet up with some friends for dinner, but my bike wouldn’t start so we just rode out together to the The Blue Goose in Addison where they were all waiting for him. We celebrated all night long and he excitedly told everyone that we were getting hitched!
After dinner he wanted to go play pool, so we all gathered out front to caravan in the cars that were available since none of the boys had any business driving anywhere. We wanted them to leave their bikes at the restaurant and take the available cars to The Fox & The Hound then return to get them later when they were sober. Mitch kept insisting that he wasn’t inebriated and refused to leave his bike behind, so before I knew what was happening amidst the chaos, I turned my head to see him and his friend Robear sitting on their bikes revving their engines. I ran towards his bike frantically begging and pleading him not to go, but the bikes were so loud, he was beyond drunk, and he didn’t even notice much less hear me. As they pulled out of the parking lot and made their way up Belt Line Road, I swear I knew that I would never see him alive again.
Just Past Midnight, May 30, 1998 …
Minutes later he hit a brick wall on Midway Road less than half a mile from our next destination, going 90 miles an hour with no helmet. Once again my life was as mangled as he was … that first man I’d ever truly loved or been loved by rode off with my heart in a “Blaze Of Glory”.