Winner of The Darcie Sims TCF Memorial Scholarship Announced!

We are pleased to announce this years winner of the 2015 Darcie Sims TCF Memorial Scholarship. Traci Mulligan tells her touching story below. She is a member in good standing of the Savannah Compassionate Friends Chapter. On November 21, 2013; her life was changed forever. Her three sons, Garrett, Wesley and Eli, were killed in an automobile accident. I hope that Traci finds the hope and healing for herself and her surviving daughter at this years conference being held in Dallas.

Traci’s Story:

Hello,

Hope this finds you well. My name is Traci Mulligan. I’m the mother of 5 beautiful, amazing,talented, unique, exceptional, (did I say beautiful already) children.

You see, I’m suppose to tell you a brief story of how I got to this point in my life. What I’m finding difficult is my story isn’t brief, and although sad, it is my story. I can’t seem to figure out where to shorten it. So… I apologize already if its to long!

You see, 20yrs. ago this year, God chose me! He chose me with his most precious gift, a child. He chose me to have a love that I never knew! He chose me to be a parent, a mommie, a boo-boo healer, a night time story reader, a teacher, a friend, a provider, everything that parents do. It was the greatest honor of my life. My first son, Wesley Solomon was born July 22, 1995.

Again, one and a half years later God seen fit for me to be blessed once more. I must have been doing something right. Even though it felt like I was sleep deprived still! My second son, Garrett William was born October 7, 1997.

Some time later, after an ugly unforseen divorce and the rekindling of an old friendship, I again would be blessed with another child. However, God chose to take this one back! What did I do wrong? Why? It was horrible! Needless to say this, although it felt like it, would not be the worst thing I would ever experienced in my life. I just couldn’t understand. I found strength in the boys and before I knew it life was moving forward again. I just did!

Almost ten years had gone by. My now fiance had been thought testicular cancer, surgery, and chemotherapy. We had new struggles to deal with. So much time had passed since I had a child. We were told he could never have anymore children. We couldn’t afford anymore children. My life was complete, or so I thought! Yeap, you guessed it!! They were wrong!! My only daughter, Madyson Nicole would be born February 22, 2007.

We though for sure, without a doubt that was it! She truly was a miracle baby and there would be no more!! Un- beknown to us, God still had other plans. Looking back I think how funny it is. Every time I though that was it for sure…. anyway! In 2009 I thought I had the flu. I was very sick. Went to the Dr. And it was the furthest thing from the flu. I was pregnant! On December 3, 2009 my last son Eli Daniel would be born.

Jon was better by now, and the only way we could support everyone was him going back to work. He worked out of town most of the time and out of the state. In November of 2013, I was working full time 40-50 hrs. a week. Jon was in Florida working and I depended on the older boys to help with the younger children a lot. My oldest son, Wesley was working as well. He just made his first purchase as an adult. If you consider 18 to be an adult. He purchased a 1988 Ford truck.

The morning after the purchase, November 21,2013 would change all of our lives forever!! I would be chosen again. Yet for a duty that I NEVER, EVER would have expected, or wanted!

I woke up late. In a hurry. My daughter missed the bus so I took her to school. I left Eli (who always stayed with my mother, but she was dealing with things from my grandmothers death that day)with Wesley for the day and Garrett was suppose to catch the bus to school. I kissed them all and told them “I love you, have a great day” as I always did. I dropped Madyson off at school and went to work. I wouldn’t come home to my family!

My boys, and all their stubbornness, decided Garrett would stay home with Wesley and Eli. They were going to
Work on the truck and go mud bogging. I guess time got away from them having fun and they realized they were late to get Madyson. They rushed that way. The same way we traveled everyday. They approached one of the last stop signs of the only major road and the brakes went out on the truck. They slid threw the stop sign and collided with a tanker truck that drug them about a mile (or more) down the road before exploading. God took all 3 of my boys home that day. My life was forever changed and yes the tears are flowing as I type this!

Almost a year and a half later I sit here writing to you about my story, my life and it just doesn’t seem real. We struggle daily, but it has become my sole purpose to educate young drivers and people of the dangers and how to react. I realized this is now what I haven been chosen to do. We have stated a petition to put drivers ed back in our schools and educate young people. What’s more important Friday night football or their lives? We’ve also stated the Eli Hickox Foundation. We collect toys and monetary donations to help needy families at Christmas (Eli was so excited for Christmas that year. He couldn’t wait to see Santa.) And pushing for year round.

I thank God everyday that he didn’t take Madyson as well. She is my inspiration daily. She is my sunrise and my sunset! I hope to be able to go to this conference to learn how to help not only myself and Madyson, but to continue to mentor to any and everyone that I can. We have became kinda the go to family when other tragedy happens and I never want to turn anyone away. I just need the education to help.

There is so much more that you just wouldn’t believe could happen to one family and yes, it’s our life. I hope you find it as inspirational as I do!

Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,
A blesses mother of amazing children~

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