Tucson family needs support while trying to rebuild life without 4-year-old Haileeby Javier Morales on Apr. 05, 2012, under Sports
What is written and shared with readers in this sports-related blog and others can be viewed as a means to escape life’s tribulations.
Athletics is a good release from the daily grind. Discussing a loss or a win on the playing field allows folks to vent some anger or express excitement – a welcomed departure from their issues at work or even at home.
Real-life drama is meant for the front page – or in this day and age, the home page.
After communicating recently with a father who lost his 4-year-old daughter to a tragic automobile accident, his story has no bounds. It doesn’t matter if this blog pertains to the Arizona Wildcats.
Chris Siquieros and his family need our help.
Chris and his wife Sophia lost their young daughter Hailee on Jan. 5 when their minivan was struck from behind on the driver’s side at full speed by a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 93 in eastern Nevada. Chris, 30, slowed down on the two-lane highway to make a left turn into a rest area, but the truck, driven by Jack Arnold, 24, of Ashton, Idaho, did not stop and slammed into the minivan.
The force of the impact spun the Siquieros’ vehicle off the road and into a barbed-wire fence. Hailee took the entire force of the impact and suffered massive head trauma. She died before a helicopter could rush her to a hospital near Ely, Nevada.
The rest of the Siquieros family, including Chris, Sophia and their three sons Romeo, Isaiah and Charlie, were hospitalized. Charlie, Hailee’s 1-year-old brother, managed to survive despite suffering a fractured skull and leg.
The loss of Hailee is painful enough, but Chris, Sophia and their boys are trying to cope psychologically and financially to carry on with their lives in Tucson. They have already received substantial assistance from people in the community through car washes, donation buckets and an account set up at Wells Fargo Bank.
“(The donations to this point have) paid for my daughter’s funeral expenses as well as a little left over to replace things lost in the wreck like clothes and shoes,” Chris said. “It also paid for rent and deposit when we first moved into this house we are in now.
“The owner of the home was so moved by our story that she overlooked the fact that neither me or my wife had jobs and rented us the place just with the cash. I took some of our tax return and paid up on a couple more months of rent so I could stay home with my family a bit longer.”
Chris, who has a background in restaurant management, has resumed looking for a job. He was about to move his family to Nevada because of an employment opportunity before the accident.
“It is about time I go back to work … (but) it’s hard trying to get on with our normal lives without our Hailee,” he said. “It really sucks.”
Chris indicated that his family is “pretty much getting nothing from the insurance claim filed against the gentleman that hit us.”
His pending employment and contributions from friends, family and strangers alike can go a long way toward the family getting back on their feet financially. Just as important is the psyche of the Siquieros family as they carry on knowing Hailee is no longer with them.
Chris opened up in this interview, but generally, matters pertaining to the loss of Hailee are kept private within his family.
“People don’t usually know what to say when we speak of the accident or my daughter not being around,” he said. “It is usually not discussed. I am noticing that no one really speaks of Hailee, not even us at home.
“My wife and I just deal with this on our own and cry together every once in a while when we do speak of her. I find myself almost scared to see her picture. There are no pictures up at my house of any of us. She is on the wallpaper of my computer desktop and on my wife’s phone but that is it.”
Nobody can say for sure the best way to cope with such a loss. MediciNet.com reports that “While many forms of support are available and do help certain individuals, little scientific research has shown clear benefits for any particular approach for grief reactions in general.”
Chris and Sophia are at a stage right now where they can benefit from the support of their extended family, friends and those in the community and elsewhere. That is obvious in the words Chris uses to describe his feelings about Hailee.
“I look at her picture and I just want to die,” he says. “It sucks to say because my three boys deserve to have a father with a zest for life and a drive to live, but I feel nothing.
“I am just kind of waiting to be with my daughter again if it is even possible. I live with the thought of the possibility that there is nothing after death. I believe life is just life. My family and I are not special. This kind of thing happens every day. It’s a hopeless feeling.”
Chris and his family are not alone in their grief. It is reported that more than 1,600 children under 15 years of age die in U.S. road crashes each year. Chris went on to say that “this world is horrifically cruel” but he contemplates the situation could have been worse.
“We were able to be with our daughter in her final moments,” he said. “Not all people are able to do that. Some are only left with questions after their young child goes missing or something.”
Chris has a message for reckless drivers: Concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
The accident that claimed Hailee’s life was avoidable, if the driver behind the Siquieros paid attention to the minivan slowing down to make a turn into the rest area. Chris also commented that making a left turn on a two-lane highway, waiting for oncoming traffic, is also dangerous because of the speed adjustment without a stop sign or red light (a picture of the highway adjacent to the rest area is available through Reel-Scout.com).
“The rest stop where my daughter lost her life is in desperate need of a change,” he said. “It takes one split-second mistake or miscalculation to cause an accident.
“Road rage, not using blinkers, speeding … (they) are all things that anger me because we still see many fatal accidents on a daily basis.”
Although Chris acknowledges he can be despondent and removed from his sons while he grieves the loss of his daughter, he embraces them often to show them how much they are loved.
“Don’t fill your day in with being frustrated with your kids,” he said. “I know things can get hectic but you need to set aside time to tell your kids you love them. Discipline them, but explain to them why you do it.
“I know most of us would think that most if not all people do these things, but believe it or not, there are a bunch a neglected children out there. Some worse than others.”
Chris’ commentary suggests that we be appreciative of the gift of life, especially during the youngest years of our children, because the moment can be fleeting.
“When we speak of death, we speak of it as though it is in some distant future,” he said. “Every day is a chance that you could lose a loved one. Make sure they know how much they are loved, every day.”
People able to make a charitable contribution to the Siquieros family can do so at Wells Fargo (account number 5511046129). If you want to help in some other way, please e-mail Mr. Siquieros at ChrisSiquieros@gmail.com