Prologue: Two Years

I never expected my life to be like this. In fact, I guess I never really thought of the future at all. I made a point to live for the moment and take things as they came. Fate was fate, and that was all there really was to it. Life happened and all I had to do was sit back and let it roll in.

Amy always theorized that I felt this way because of my unusual upbringing. (Those were her words. To me, there was nothing unusual about my life at all).

I’m in a band with my two older brothers, Isaac and Taylor. And when I was eleven, we had a whirlwind over night success with our first album. Our song “Mmmbop” was number one in more countries than I knew existed. We made enough money to be set for life. But of course we weren’t in it for the money. We were in it for the love and passion of making music.

Our second album had decent sales, but whilst we went through some label changes, and did some extra shows here and there across the mid-western United States. In the mean time, this gave us plenty of time to write songs and work on our next impending album. This also gave me the opportunity to pursue other passions. On a complete whim, I made up my mind to take a few classes at the University of Tulsa. It started with just a few easy math classes—math had always been my favorite subject.

But after a semester, I picked up several more classes. A few science and history courses that caught my eye, and an impulsive handful of English courses. It was there that I met Amy Mathews.

Amy was sitting front and center in the classroom. She was sitting directly in front of the professor, diligently taking notes and hanging on his every word. Occasionally, she would smile at one of the professor’s lame and unfunny jokes. Her smile was sweet and genuinely perfect. It lit up the entire room just enough for me to notice.

After the first time I noticed her, I quickly found myself arriving early for class just to choose the seat directly beside hers.

The first time I spoke to her, I asked her for the date. The second time I spoke to her, I borrowed a pen, even though I had a fresh package unopened in my back pack.

Before long I was meeting her to discuss literature. I was begging her for help, which I didn’t really need. But the end of the semester she was practically living in my tiny, modest one bedroom apartment just off campus. We were inseparable.
There was no doubt in my mind that I loved her. I made a point to tell her so often, I was sure she’d be sick of hearing it. I was absolutely sure she was too good to be true, because she loved me back with equal veracity.

Of course, I never really expected to spend eternity with her. After all, we were only eighteen and I wasn’t even thinking about the future. Though after a while, it eventually became apparent to me, and it became my reality. I could not live without her. Nor could I see myself with anyone other than her.

The day she told me we were expecting was probably the happiest day of my life. I proposed to her on the spot. We were in my bed, and I was wearing nothing but a pair of boxers and I had no ring. It wasn’t the most romantic scenario, but she always claimed it was.

We got married in the summer, it was a quiet affair. Even so, it was absolutely beautiful and perfect. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Amy through the entire day. She was glowing.

A few short months later, our perfect daughter Madelyn Grace was born. She was perfectly healthy, and as each day passed she looked more and more like her mother. I was beginning to start thinking about the future again, and my future was my perfect little family.

Amy and I were blissfully happy. Our daughter was three and I was getting out and doing a few concerts with my brothers to make a living. We were working on a new album, and I was making it work by finding an equal balance between work and my beautiful wife and daughter.

Everything seemed too good to be true, and perhaps it was. Because just as things seemed like they couldn’t get any more perfect, my entire world came crashing down.  Two years ago, I had just finished a show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma when I got the call.

My wife had gone out with her sisters. They’d gone to a bar to celebrate her youngest sister turning twenty-one. Amy had called me a few hours earlier and said she wasn’t drinking, and was going to drop all the girls off at their houses before picking up Madelyn at my parent’s house.

She never made it to pick up our daughter.

This was two years ago. And I was still struggling to adjust.

Chapter 1