I lost my dad in a private plane crash off Crooked Island in the outer islands of the Bahamas. This is the sort of thing you hear about on the news, the sort of thing we have all become numb to because it will never happen to us¦until it does. In a split second my life changed in ways that I had never considered. The loss of a parent at the age of twenty-eight is a tragedy. My siblings and I were left with a large hole in our lives and in the fabric of our family. Its not something you can describe to someone who has not had a similar experience.
Recently I attended ACCESS 8th Annual Hearts, Clubs & Aces golf fundraiser in California. I sat in a room full of strangers but I felt a certain sense of belonging. Then when the guest of honor Joan Lunden spoke, I knew I was in the right place. She told of the fateful last flight her father took and the impact it had on her and her family. I had of course seen her on Good Morning America, but when she told her story, I felt a connection. Her story is eerily similar to my own. I was no longer alone on my journey as I realized there are countless others whose hearts also feel heavy and are raw with emotion from this type of tragedy. This is what ACCESS is all about. As the night came to a close and the last auction item was claimed, I left knowing that ACCESS continues doing what it does best: helping people cope with the present and prepare for the future.
Deb Hawkins lost her father on a private plane crash on 4/12/97