He was a funny boy with an incredibly infectious smile that lit up the room. He could be hard to understand, but the more you were with him, the easier it was to communicate.
He could be hard headed, stubborn, and difficult. Especially if he hurt and didn’t want to to tell you.
We had a lot of fun interspersed with difficult days that were painful for all. His sexual abuse and rape changed everything and it affected our whole family dynamic.
The months and weeks leading up to October 10, 2011 were hard. Cole was often angry, fearful, and upset. Because of his disabilities, he couldn’t quite find a way to process those things that made him a victim of a sexual predator. Even had he been normal as the world defines such, I don’t know if he could have ever processed it.
God knows I struggled and still do to understand how evil can walk among us like a wolf in sheep clothing. Harder still are the lengths some will go to defend the guilty and tear down the wounded.
Most people were so very supportive. But some doubted–and I understand in a way, because I tried out every possible scenario to make this all a mistake or misunderstanding. Who in their right mind would want to believe something so dreadful happened to their precious child?
Not this father. Not ever.
And try as I might, I couldn’t make it something different. It was a Friday night when the truth finally hit home. Cole was able to communicate a little more clearly the great extent of what occurred. What I share next is going to sound really strange. While I have shared this before, I suspect hearing it for the first time or the second, you will have no trouble understanding the graphic nature of what Cole told us…
“He put toothpaste on my butt and give me a big shot.”
That was the night I had to be stopped from leaving the house for a Buckman hunting trip.
I honestly could have killed him without blinking. I would have wished the power to resurrect him to do it over and over in ways imaginative and cruel.
My precious son deserved so much more than he received from life–and the one who conspired to steal it.
I wish you could have known him, to experience his zest for life and desire to do anything you could. I wish you’d had the unparalleled opportunity to watch a football game with him. Especially if his hero, Brett Farve was playing.
He could talk trash with the best!
Two weeks before Cole died, he was still telling me Brett was going to make another come back.
We buried Cole in his beloved autographed Brett Farve football jersey given to him from Brett on his 21st birthday.
Play hard, Cole. Your Daddy is proud of you.
I will go to him, but he will not return to me. (2 Samuel 12:23 NIV)
Love your children! Hug them when you can! Live now without regrets later!
How can I help you make the most of your time?