It’s really difficult for me to write this. Not that I have a problem sharing this story but it’s physically impossible to see my screen through the tears.
It’s amazing to think that someone you’ve never met, now thousands of miles away, can impact your life in a way that can make you sob alone in front of a computer screen. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I have a daughter, but this is just one of those stories.
Twitter is kind of amazing. Yah, I’m one of those people. Not the fanatic every-second-of-the-day tweeps, but I can proudly admit that I have my moments. I do my best with the @8BitDads to connect with other parents on the Twitter. I enjoy sharing powerful stories that might not ever make it to major news outlets or go viral. I am thankful for anyone who can poke at my emotional bad-ass-man-fabric long enough until salty tears dissipate.
Today, I’m thankful for @dad_or_alive.
“I had network notes calls about gay robots and how many times a comic could say penis on CBS.”
I can’t tell you the exact moment when we virtually met Adrian, who has a blog over at dadoralive.com, but what we do know is that he is stay-at-home father of two who is one hell of a writer.
He didn’t start off fatherhood as a SAHD. He took on the full-time parental role approximately two years ago after working in comedy for 10 years; most notably as a comic booker for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and as an executive for both Adam Sandler and Chelsea Handler’s companies. “My life was stacked with meetings, comedy festivals, set visits and premieres. I thrived on the fast-paced lifestyle, like a drug.” Since the full-time man-shift, he has utilized his time and ability to write for the Huffington Post and submit a manuscript for his first book.
Around this time in August of 2011, he and his family moved 2,690 miles from Los Angeles to Rockville, Maryland when tragedy struck the next day.
Adrian writes in his blog dated January 3rd, 2012:
“Brooke, Brad, their twins Stone and Addie, along with Olivia, were at a little league field waiting for their oldest son Max’s football game to kick-off. With just a few minutes left in the previous game, Brad and the twins headed to the bleachers to claim seats and Brooke took Liv, buckled in her stroller, back to the car for her sippy cup.
Brooke looked left, then right, and proceeded to enter the parking lot on the crosswalk. For an unknown reason a car that had already gone past, had stopped and reversed in the wrong lane, without warning. The car hit Brooke and Olivia.
Brooke was thrown to the ground and the stroller, with Olivia inside, was knocked over.
Brooke heard Olivia crying, as she lay on the ground. While she struggled to get up from the pavement and help her baby, the driver reversed again, rolling over Olivia. The car then pulled ahead, running over her a second time, just as Brooke was about to reach her.
Olivia was taken by ambulance to Egleston Children’s hospital in Atlanta, where doctors worked tirelessly on her.
It was too late. Liv was gone.”
I found Olivia through Adrian, who posted a simple photo on Twitter last night of the birthday anniversary for his niece. I felt compelled to do something more than passively retweet it and I really hope you don’t just read this article.
Start by reading Adrian’s post, 1 Year. 1 Month. 1 Day.
On the occasion of what would have been Olivia’s 2nd birthday, Brad and Brooke have decided to share the eulogy which was read at the church service, as well as the statement which Brooke read aloud to the court during the arraignment. You can find both transcripts on Adrian’s most recent post, TWO Young To Go.
‘Like’ The Olivia Anne Hellwig Foundation and give a little something to her Trust Find (her family is deciding what to do with the fund to honor their baby girl):
C/o Lesa Mayer
Sun Trust Banks, Inc.
Mail Code GA-ATL-1961
303 Peachtree Center Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303
Olivia’s family is doing all that they can to raise awareness of pedestrian safety, especially at places where families and children are present, such as a public park. They have two children and can’t maintain the full-time effort to continuously grow a Foundation, so please, do what you can within your means to help a good cause for children everywhere and help support a strong family you might have never known.
“Olivia was an old soul, wise beyond her years, with her radiant blue eyes drawing you in.” – Adrian Kulp
Please like, retweet, and share this story. If you don’t want to, that’s cool too. Just remember Olivia and please slow down.