Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Last Christmas Together

Remembering Our Last
Family Christmas Together
This was the photo I used for our
Christmas Cardsin December 2004.
Little did I know that it would be
 the last Christmas our familywould
ever be all together again...
On December 2, 2005 early on that
stormy Friday morning, our son,
William, went missing while
on his way to work in the foothills of
Auburn, CA. We searched desperately
for him that day and the following
three days with help from family
and friends, church members
several detectives, the police department
 and the California Highway Patrol...
there were even helicopter searches
done from was reported
on the news and we gave a press
release pleading for the public to help
with the search for our only son, he 
had just turned 19 years old...
We passed out thousands of fliers,
posting them everywhere we could...
The agony of the unknown was
unbearable....Calls to his cell-phone
went straight to voicemail...
Where could our baby be?
One of the detectives had stopped
on the I-80 and Highway 49 and
had given out several of the fliers
to the Cal-Trans (California Transportation)
Highway workers. It was late on Monday
afternoon that the detective got
a call from some Cal-Trans workers
stating that they had found evidence
of a blue car that could possibly be
underwater....they had found the
door of a blue camaro and pieces
of it literally spread down the hill
and towards the embankment of
water at the bottom of the ravine.
A dive team was called in...the California
Highway Patrol refused to let us
anywhere near the sight and
made us go up to a waiting point....
even thoughmy husband and I begged
them with tears streaming down our
faces, to allow us to stay there until
they could bring the car up...
they refused and made us leave the
side of the highway and go to the
waiting point at the Combie Rd exit.
With our hearts full of fear, unsure
of what they would find we did as
 they said...we waited over an hour,
and my husband finally went back
up the sight where all the emergency
equipment was working with spoglights
because by this time it was pitch black...
as black and cold as our hearts felt while
we were waiting. They sent him back and
we all huddled there with blankets with
family and friends awaiting the news of
what they would find....I remember
so well just keeping my head down
in a blanket and sobbing out to God
"Please God have mercy...Please God
have mercy and don't let it be our
William in those icy waters...Please
God have mercy"It was a long time
later when I remember a voice in
saying to us in a hushed tone...
"It is William...He has been positively
My stomach heaved, my head was
spinning, my heart was exploding in
millions of pieces and I remember
hearing my husband screaming "Nooooo,
Noooooo, Not my son...Not my only son...
Noooo...Not William...Noooo"
After that I woke up in the hospital...
they told me I fainted, but I
don't remember anything after hearing my
husband screaming...I don't remember
anything else except waking up the next
morning...It was light in my bedroom
and I could hear people talking....
and the only thing I could think of was
"WHY didn't anyone wake me up??? Why????
I need to be helping to look for William...
I need to find my baby...I cried out and
my husband ran into our room...
I couldn't understand why he didn't
wake me upso I could help look for
William....I started crying and asking
him why he wasn't looking for
our son while it was light outside...
that we had to find him before another
day passed....My husband...he was
patiently trying to tell me...But I didn't
remember the night before...All I
 remembered the next day was that we
needed to be out there searching
for our son...I became hysterical when
he didn't seem to understand that Will
was missing and that we needed to be
out looking for him..
Finally my husband took my arms and
shook me and said"Honey....we found
William.....we found him last night."
I remember that part clearly....looking at
my husband like he was speaking another
language...I couldn't seem to comprehend
what he was saying.
I remember then trying to get away,
saying, "Where is he?"
"Where is my baby....I want to see
my little brown boy!" That is when he
told me that William was in heaven with
Jesus...He wasn't cold or hurting
anymore...He kept saying that our little
boy was now safe with Jesus...
It hit me then...the memory of that voice
behind me saying "It is Willam....
he has been positively identified."
That moment of time changed our
 lives forever...The heartbreak has been
so intense...The perfect circle of our
lovely little family was broken forever.
It has been four long years since that
fateful December... and yet it still cuts
like a knife...wounds that will
never heal, because William is gone
from us here onearth....Yes the light of
his love lives on in our hearts...
We see the ghost of his radiant smile....
we hear the echoes of his laughter...
we see the mirages of his crazy dances
and antics that would make everyone laugh....
we listen for the music that came from
his talented, beautiful hands...
The reflections of everything he personified
and embodied will live on in our hearts
forever...His zest for life...his love for
anything extreme and wild...His amazing
capability of bring joy and laughter
everywhere he went, His musical talent....
it is all tucked away....treasures
 to remember. Treasures in the darkness
of my December night, 2009.
We are trying to have a semblance of
Christmas this year for the first time since
December 2004, which was our
 last Christmas together as a family...
Trying to pick up the shattered pieces
of our hearts...Trying to live again...
for our daughter's sake...She
didn't just lose her brother...she lost
her best friend.
Charlotte Grace Miquelle Reynolds...
we love you and we are
trying hard to live Will did...
happy and smiling.
And in loving memory of our only son...
 William Vincent Alexander Reynolds

9/28/86 ~ 12/2/05
Our “Will”
Forever With Jesus
Forever Cherished
Forever Loved
Forever Extreme
Forever Happy
Forever Smiling
Forever Adored
Forever Remembered
Forever 19
Forever Young
Forever in our Hearts
Forever Will
If our love could have kept you alive…
You’d be alive still…We miss you so much!
Our lil brown boy…
We love you
with all of our hearts and souls
Dad, Mums & your sissy, Charlotte
Take extra photos of your loved ones
every chance you get, not only during
the holidays...but all of the time.
Make vidoes often...we never had a
camcorder, so we have no videos of our
only son...and that hurts so badly.
Make as many memories as you can....
Because you will never know when it
is the last photo of them you will ever
take. Make your moments in time last
beyond a lifetime. I know how important
it is to record and cherish every
Moment in Time with Loved Ones...
I know too well...

William with his 'big-little' sister, Charlotte,
during our last Christmas together...

Me with my two shining Jewels....
My crowning Joy!

My wonderful husband Matt, and One Proud Papa!
Will seems to be hearing heaven calling...
"Do You Hear What I Hear?"

William (in red), Charlotte...Josh (Char's Fiance)

4ever Young~4ever In Our Hearts~4ever Will
If our love could have kept you alive...
You would be alive still!
XOXO to Heaven Sweet William!
© 2009 Susan Reynolds
The Digital Artist


  1. Hi Susan! I found your blog through the SOAR website. You left a comment on my video entry...I just wanted to say "Thank you". As I was reading this post, my heart just broke for you. I can't imagine losing a child. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can tell from these photographs that your son was a blessing to those around him...kind and sweet spirited. Thank you for sharing this story...I will hug my kids extra tight tonight because of it. I know that God's plan for our lives does not always match up to what we have planned...but we must trust HIS plan. May you find peace in knowing that William is with Jesus. Praying for you and your family.

  2. Dear Jennifer,
    Thank you for taking the time to browse through my blog postings. If I can encourage even one person to hug their child a little more, or spend more time with their family through my will be well worth the effort.
    No, we don't understand what God has in mind for our families when things like this happen...we just have to try and smile through our tears and reach out to others that are hurting...because we know all to well the pain and anguish they are going through...
    I wish you the best of luck in the SOAR program and may your family be blessed, safe and well in the coming new year!