My name is Pat Rhoads. This blog is about my wife Aimee, lost in a tragic boating accident while scuba diving December 18, 2011. People mentioned here are our daughter, Aimee's mom Donna, her brother Justin and his wife Caroline. The beginning of this tragic story can be found here:
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The final week, as seen through Facebook posts
Initially, I planned to share the last week of Aimee's life by writing about each of those days and sharing what we were doing and feeling. But after spending too many hours way too late into the night going back and reading these Facebook posts from last year, I decided this is a better way to share. Not only will it be a LOT less for you to read, but I think it gives a clearer picture of how great that week was, seeing it how I felt at the time, and not viewed through a dark lens of grief like I do now. I'll still add some background to the ones that seem to need it.
These are some of my Facebook posts from Aimee's last week alive:
Early the morning of Monday, December 11, upon arrival in Miami.
We had a really nice dinner on the deck of a seafood restaurant not far from our vacation house. I recall that Aimee and Caroline enjoyed their delicious sangria.
I didn't have enough vacation time to take the whole week off, so I put in some work several of the days we were there.
This was a really fun night. To this day I really appreciate Justin for suggesting they take Rowan back and letting Aimee and I have this date night. Such a gift that was.
The beach trip is a funny story. The Keys are really rocky, and there are very few real sandy beaches, We found one about 45 minutes south, but it took us almost an hour and a half by the time we also grabbed lunch plus bought some beach toys. When we got there, the 'beach' was only about 6 feet deep, there was no shade at all, and it was HOT. We only stayed for about 20 minutes, and then we headed back.
This dinner was really very special. Not just because it was our last one as a 'whole' family, or because the food was amazing. It was more than that, and it was because of Aimee. If you're interested, you can read about it on this post I wrote last January: Our last (family) supper
This post was early afternoon of December 18. I posted this on Facebook just over an hour before Aimee died. That last line would haunt me: "...even more glad when she safely returns."
At approximately 3:15 pm ET (if I remember the time correctly), Key Largo Scuba Shack's boat, "Get Wet", capsized and sank at Molasses Reef in about 30 feet of water. There were eight people on board - 6 passengers, one dive master/instructor, and the boat captain. Aimee was one of the passengers, as was her sister-in-law, Caroline. Two passengers, one of them Aimee, were trapped in the boat as it went down. The other passenger who was trapped was rescued first, and was eventually revived. By the time Aimee was pulled from the water, it was too late.
Thankfully, Caroline was not hurt.
I heard the news from Justin later that evening. I don't remember what time it was, but I recall that it was starting to get dark, so probably around 5:30 in the evening.
A while later, I made some phone calls. I called my mother, and a couple of my closest friends. Then I called a couple of Aimee's closest friends.
(For a more detailed account of December 18, read the post, "Aimee's last day".)
The next day, I made the announcement to everyone I was connected to via Facebook with this post:
My next blog post will show the next week or so via Facebook posts, just like this. How we got through the last two days in Florida, the God-awful trip home, Christmas, and Aimee's memorial.