Drive Carefully

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Well, yesterday was a day full of tears, hugs and wishful thoughts.

Mom and I left Logan around 8 a.m. and headed for Tooele County for my cousin's funeral. When we reached our first major mountain, it began to snow. This is a photo I took when I was in the passenger seat:

Here is another shot taken on the way to Tooele County:

As you can see, driving was a little difficult. Especially when giant semi trucks pass you at 75 miles an hour. I was swearing like a sailor.

We stopped for a cup of coffee at a gas station, and when we went to start the truck back up, nothing happened. Nada. Zilch. Zero. I walked back into the service station and asked anyone if they knew anything about getting our truck to start. Fortunately for us, a guy was sitting at a table in a small restaurant area and he was able to get us moving again with his grandson's help. Thank Gawd.

When we reached the place where my cousin and two of his friends lost their lives, I asked my Mom to pull over so I could take some photos of the memorial placed in their honor:

When I was taking these photos at the side of the road, a van pulled over and a perfect stranger walked up to me and gave me a hug. She told me that she lost her sister to cancer, and that she was sorry for our loss. It was really sweet, and I gave her my condolences as well.

We drove by Grantsville High School (Taft graduated in 2007) and saw this sign:

They also lowered the flag in respect:

Taft's service was beautiful. At one point, all the cousins and friends were asked to walk up to the front and sing two songs. I was a crying mess but I went and stood with everyone else.

Many of Taft's friends paid tribute to him by sharing stories of his gigantic sense of humor and his love for the television show "Survivor." He would often gather his friends together and play Survivor. His friends mentioned that he was always one step ahead and planning on who to vote out next. Jokes were made about how he might be organizing games in Heaven and voting off our friends and relatives who died before us. This put a huge smile on my face.

Taft and his girlfriend made a bucket list of things to do before they died. On the top of the list was to ride in an airplane and see Hawaii. In February, Taft and his girlfriend flew to Hawaii and enjoyed a vacation.

Taft enjoyed putting smiles on people's faces. He was known to pull off pranks or goof off and make even the strictest of personalities laugh out loud. There were a few collages of pictures of Taft, and in every single shot, he was smiling. That says a lot, doesn't it?

There were so many people in attendance for his memorial, that a large stake center was used. Here are some photos of the flowers that were sent for Taft's service:

Mom and I eventually had to start making our way home.

The weather got worse and worse as we made our way back to Logan...

I decided to drive home, and at one point I completely lost control over the vehicle. We slid in the snow and went into oncoming traffic and into the opposite ditch. Luckily, there was no one in the way and no one was hurt. It was scary as hell, though. 90 seconds after getting the truck on the right side of the road again two huge snowplows turned the corner. Mom and I couldn't stop thinking about what would have happened if our accident occurred a little bit later, or if the plows were driving a little faster. It's one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me.




  1. Seth R. Says:

    I used to drive my young family home for Christmas in Utah while I was attending law school in Laramie Wyoming.

    I can tell you I hate winter driving on that long stretch of I-80. One time driving to Utah we hit some black ice at 60 mph and did a full 360 before sliding backwards into the ditch. Had my wife and 2 year old daughter in the car with me.

    Took a while to calm down. Fortunately, we were able to drive right out of the ditch.

    But we don't travel to Utah during the winter anymore. Just too much white-knuckle driving for me to take.