More threads by bledge


I have been a very successful business man and have until lately handled stress well. But now! I have not been doing as well. about 4 years ago I took on the largest loss of my life (story follows). I have somewhat recovered financially but recently I seem to be having a harder time ... I in many ways believe that I have moved on .. My first year I started telling myself that I cant live in the past ... that its only selfish to keep tormenting myself and thats not what she would want ... that I should chose to become a better person becuase of it .... that anything else is just being selfish ... I even told myself that depression causes brain dammage and I kept listening to Zig and a few other character building tapes AND IT HELPED. Now Its something I dont dwell on I have my momments but for the most part I have managed to move on ... or so I thought. It took over a year before my nightmares and daydreams, vissions .. etc started to calm down. but they did calm down. The last 4 years has been tough ... I had to dig myself out of financial ruin ... I am just now getting a financial breath. The Anxiety that I have been getting lately is immoblizing. Its not just general ... it comes mainly when I am dealing with real problems Like a Business Lawsuilt that I had to deal with last week . The challange is that I used to just stress a little work through it till I did everything that I could then move on) Now I seem to almost freek out for a Day. Other times I seem to have a problem moving in the moring ... Caffine does seem to help me in this area. My sleep is ok some night not good others and I think I still have the nightmares .. but I dont remember most of them. But as I type this I am relizing that I do get up more nights than I relize and turn to TV on until my heart rate goes down althou by the moring I dont even think about it. I guess What Im relizing is that its possible that when I fear something in regular bussiness that sometimes I may be getting those same emotions of that one tradgic day! ...... Dont know if I am asking anything here ... lol ... or if Im just trying to work it out in my head! .... My story follows for any that want to read ..... ITS not for the faint of hear!!


I remember when my daughter was about 2 years old and she was climbing on the monkey bars and she fell I ran as hard as I could to catch her but could not but some how when she flipped backward she reached up and grabbed the bars with 1 hand and caught herself. It was amazing! I grabbed her up and held her. I was so proud, scared, and felt so lucky. I remember another time about the same age that she climbed up the 14-foot slide by herself when she got to the top she fell off the side. I was waiting this time and I of course caught her and as many times before knew how much I loved my baby. (How could God have given his Son up to Die for me? When I looked at my girl that seemed so unimaginable). Later in life she did well at school, sports, especially baseball. I remember another time that I was in Shreveport La. And she was in Gonzales La. And they had a father daughter banquet that she wanted us to go to. I called her 4 hours prior and told her that it is a 5 hour drive and I don?t even have cloths and that I was sorry and It was not possible to make it because business took too long. I could hear the tears on the phone. I called her back and told her I was on the way made the trip in 4 hours and called some friends in town and had cloths ready when I got there. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and one of the best days of my life. She was so beautiful I was the most proud father in the place. (My tears are flowing as I write this).

The following was written the day after.
January 2, 2003 (1/2/3) Erica and I was having a wonderful day; we went to the bank (barks dale federal credit union) and while we there she was cold so I un-wraped her up in my jacket and kept her warm. She was aggravating me with her freezing hands on my back and stomach and abnormally I did not fight here I let her get me and enjoyed the Joy and satisfaction on her face while she "got her daddy". She did love to "get her daddy". We left to do an estimate on Audubon Street in Shreveport and again she was cold so I did the tree estimate with
Her wrapped up in my jacket. Again she would pick and try to aggravate visa-versa and me. We had a good time. We went to the next estimate on Bea in in Greenwood. We joked and picked then we started toward the airport. We arrived at the airport about 1 hour before John Jordan. Erica and I pulled my plane out, washed and did our pre inspection of my plane. John showed up and then we went to talk to some friends for a few moments then we went back and started to get ready for the short flight to the north and back. Erica started climbing into my plane and then I suggested that she has not flown in Johns plane and if she wanted to she could. She said it didn?t mater but said sure and climbed in with him. I knew she would enjoy flying in that plane because she hasn?t flown it it before. The picture of that moment is permantly stuck in my head. I almost said naaa just fly with me ....... BUT I didn?t. We taxied across the airport to runway 32 and did our normal run up called the tower. "2481n flight of 2 at 32 ready for take off" and we were cleared. I taxied on the runway. John was more reserved than normal and held back; I figured that was because he was being
Conservative because of my daughter so I powered up and went rolling down the runway. I climbed up to about 600' before I looked back to see where he was and he was just leaving the ground about 1 mile behind me. I kept in full power 120 mph at 1000-1200 ft just as I knew he would until we were clear of airspace. The tower released us and then we went to our own frequency 123.45. We made sure we were both on the radio. A few moments later I asked his location ... he replayed "I'm behind you? So I turned to the left so I could see him shortly into the bank I saw a plane doing some spirals; I thought some one was just playing and continued my scan for Johns plane. I guess my subconscious was pricking me because I started putting information together. "Don?t see john low altitude low wing plane short coupled only a couple aerobatic pilots with low wing plane on airport don?t see john same color SPIN LOOP LOW altitude OH MY GOD NO WAY NOOOOOOO John
Are you there? Call someone, call tower, tower is someone else flying?
Aerobatics out here I think John may have went down not sure I have flown so much were would they be Johns going to kill me if he is somewhere and radio is out. NO WAY not my baby NO WAY calm down fly plane no help if im dead remember Civil Air Patrol FLY GRID ok have to start grid Ok there watch for other search planes talk to tower squawk 7700 NOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO no way fly plane did he say probably did go down no have to find her think ... I see the picture water bend hope she is not in water ..... I flew almost directly to the site. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO no way tower I found
them .... O My god please let my baby be alive. Its been so long ... got to fly the plane.... going to land.... no good if i'm hurt ... damn ...cant think.... theres a field.... no time to check. Just land..... Coming in fast watch the fence fly the plane fly the plane no help if you?re dead or hurt bad... slip slip ... kill power... Ok fly plane got to fly plane on down VeRrY BuMpY kill engine close to fence.... get out. Get out.....!@#$ Nosed over the plane... forget it ...go get daughter got to hurry [I took off and jumped fence then looked back at plane] $#@% fuel is flowing over wings onto engine.... don?t want rescuers to go to wrong plane [I went back to plane with police officer who just arrived and picked up the nose of the plane and set the plane on ground correctly (so plane would not catch fire and rescuers would go to wrong plane) then started off after daughter again]
I ran down the road over the levey thru the woods guided by the plane in the air (thank GOD I have my portable radio) the rescuers were lost and going the wrong direction so I motioned them to follow me. 2 did but I was much faster. When I was about 1/4 away I recognized the terrain. THINKING: do I keep running I'm so tired do I save energy so I have some to save Erica if it was possible ... GOD please I need a miracle. What I saw was bad I know it probably not survivalable but that?s my daughter. God I know I haven?t been the person I should but please save her. There it is... no skid hit flat.. That?s bad... ITS ON FIRE.. GOT TO GET HER out. I ran to plane... officer orders me off says its too dangerous I TOLD HIM THAT WAS MY
BABY IN THERE and kept going as I looked inside....
I saw my daughter curled up in the back of the plane ... lots of blood I
touched her... she is still warm. Have to get her out of plane before it burns up.... I looked at John and sadly felt nothing for my best friend with his eyes wide open and his hands in fists I can tell he died instantly I moved part of the canopy out of the way then grabbed John and toated him out of plane too a safe distance ( I had to he was in the way of my daughter) I went for my daughter and saw 2 air/blood bubbles come out of her mouth before I touched her. (Today I believe that was her last breaths). I picked her up an officer came to help I told him "be gentle with her? as we pulled her warm body from the plane. We laid her on the ground then officer went and sat down. I told he we need to do cPr he said no she was dead told him NOOOOOO I saw bubbles from her mouth. I started doing Cpr. O my God I turned her head to side to clear passage and almost through up (I got sick) the officer came to help I moved to side and dry heaved then just moved out of way.
I was crying and pacing back and fourth wanting to Die I prayed and begged GOD. Part of me knew that she was dead the other could not believe it? so I chose to go with the other. I wanted to wake up from this bad dream. I chose to call Dessie and tell her. I said for the most painful words I have ever said to this day ? I?m sorry I?m sorry (she new something bad had happened because of my voice and I was crying) I think our baby is gone. She said!! ?What What What NO NO NO NO NO NO NO? as she started to cry and her voice started to fade? All I could say was I was sorry for killing our baby but they were working on her maybe she will live just maybe. All I could do was cry and try to figure out if this was really happening I think I just went crazy inside of my head not knowing what is real or not for a long while.
When the medivac Helicopter arrived I saw them work on her for a short time then I saw vividly the main person look at everyone else and shake his head. They pretended (I guess for my sake) but I knew even though I refused to acknowledge it. When I got to the hospital I must have seemed like a mental patient to everyone there. They put me in a room and soon the doctor came in I looked up in vanishing hope but all the hope I could muster and all he said is ?you already know the answer? I cried and cried I wanted to Die they would not let me go see her. They said I did not want to remember her like that I tried to explain that I saw everything already I was there ? but they would not. I wished so badly that instead of trying to save here I would have just held her those last few seconds but I did not. This was my only child how could this be. I could not sleep that night and had many day/night mares trying to figure out what just happened and scared that it was me who killed them. I ran out to the fuel tanks that night sobbing loudly to check the fuel I used for water or contaminates. I was of some relief that it was clear. I went over in my mind over and over and over and over and over did I miss something when I checked his plane.
And more thoughts than is even possible to write. Then ?
I got really scared I thought I have not been a great Christian example the last couple of years. She has definitely reached the age of accountability? Is She in Heaven or HELL!!!! Could I have doomed my baby, that I love so much, TO HELL! I know John went to HELL! He was very moral but didn?t like to talk about GOD ? so we avoided the subject. I have not been a very responsible Christian lately, I?ve been moral. But Moral doesn?t get you to heaven. {I was destroyed; I have done the most unthinkable of all unthinkables}. I have not been a Spiritual example to my family and friends. I have let my friend Go to Hell and maybe even my Daughter. What happened, how can I forget the most important thing ? the reason we are here? How can I call myself a friend or a father and do nothing to save them from Hell. I tormented myself with this for 2 weeks or so. I went to my pastor (Andy Harris) and told him we have to let these people know we have to tell them ? that what they do, or don?t do, can send their family and friends to hell!! WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. WE HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE!! TELL THEM TO NOT TO LET WHAT HAPPENED TO ME HAPPEN TO THEM!!. I think he just thought I was crazy and he was probably correct. I went from bad to worse. I didn?t sleep I didn?t do much of anything. I closed any and all business (except my real estate) I finally went to my doctor (a month or so later) and told him I was a wreck and that I was going crazy. I needed to sleep and I all could think about was the accident over and over in my head. I am always teared on the verge of crying or just all out wailing. He gave me some sleeping medicine and some anti depressants and it helped. I took what little money I had left and started reinvesting in real estate in a new way that I designed over the previous months. I did not even attempt to run my other business. I owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad debt because of shutting everything down. It looked impossible, but somehow I just kept investing in realestate before I ran out of capital. (I only had about $90,000 in capital and my monthly bills were $15,000) even today I realize this was a huge miracle just to survive with debit like this and no income. GOD had a plan. How I even purchased a home then or how I convinced people to trust me, that I would do what I said, is another huge miracle but I purchased about 15 ?20 homes during this time. Most of the time I had a hard time even signing my name or remembering what to write on a contract. My wife would stand over me and assist me during the meeting and negations. This was more that a little crazy ... God must have blinded there eyes in order for them to have any faith in me at all. 2 months later we find out that my wife is pregnant. THIS CANT BE!! WHEN!! HOW!! I don?t want a child. How Can I love another child? LETS REVIEW ? Monica?s been on birth control for over a year ? we practice safe sex just to cover the .01% possibility of the birth control failure and on top of that she is in her 3rd month and still taking birth control. The doctor and everyone, of course, call this baby from GOD ?the miracle baby?. But after she was born I understood quickly that it was possible for me to love another child and we named her from Erica?s middle name "Savannah". I tried to go to church during this first year many times but all I could do is cry, many time loudly. That first Christmas was difficult beyond comprehension. The Christmas before she died we didn?t open most of the presents because she wanted to wait on a certain family member that was flying in Jan 2, (which is the same day she died). So we had all of the unopened presents from the previous year to open. So I opened some of them. One of the presents was a Large Box with about 15 small boxes inside all individually wrapped tightly (that was Erica for you!) Needlessly to say I cryed intensely. After the first year I starting putting in my business tapes and even went to a few seminars. I am just amazed that I made it for one year. I kept telling my self that depression causes brain damage. And that depression is not helping her and that it is selfish. We should remember the past but not live in it. I have a wife, and a child to raise. That it is ok to stop tourching yourself she would not want that. And that my newfound knowledge needs to be put into action. I slowly started moving out of my depression and with Doctors approval stopped taking anti depressants. Monica and I talked about our plans and what we should do from here.
I WROTE SOME OF THIS THE NEXT DAY AND SOME OVER A YEAR LATER ... I hope this story can help someone else and there is much more ... but didnt want to take up the whole internet.

Hi Bledge

Wow, what a story. It must have been so hard to be up in the air knowing what was going on underneath you - and then having to land the plane before you could search for her. It seems like you and your wife having been doing exactly the correct things to help yourselves, and I am pleased that you have your religion to help you through.

One thing I would suggest is talking to your minister about your feeling of blame and worry about where your child has ended up. He/she may help eliviate some of that worry, because I feel that the blame for that is probably not so healthy for you.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It looked like an increadibly difficult story to write, and I hope that writing it helped you work things out.


Thanks most of the story was written with in a day or 2 and parts within weeks .... I have delt with the heaven and hell challanges. for the most part I dont even hardly concously think about it now ... I believe I have efectively moved on (although I have my momments) My challange now is I keep wondering if when I go throu anciety situations now .... I seem to let it get more out of control ... After reading about PTS ... Im thinking maybe that my anciety may be going back to that time. If it is its not a consience thing. I guess Im just trying to put my finger on my anxity challanges so that I can effectively deal with it ... I seem to have a extreme fear of loosing some times .... and this is a dangerious fear to have in business. Well anyway Just sitting here typing about it has probally helped more than anything. Its amazing its 4 years later and I am still trying to figure out who this new me is. I use to just thrive on starting and growing susful business and I even enjoyed a fair amount of stress. I desire that part of me again but when certian stresses come they seem to get the best of me. humm .... I think I must sub-consiencely have a extreme fear of lossing. Well this has helped ... now I just need to figure out how to work on the fear of lossing.

i am so very sorry for your loss. i think the loss of a child is one of the most painful losses to have to face in life. not sure what else to say, other than that my heart goes out to you and i hope you can continue to heal. should difficulties remain there, it may not be a bad idea to see a professional.

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