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Tribute to James Petty

Tribute to James Petty

by October 2, 2014

GONEGROUP 001Gone but Never Forgotten – Tribute to James Petty Story & photos by: Lachanda  Bohannon Lovington, New Mexico

On August 1st 2012, I went to tell my dad goodbye before he left on his trip to Sturgis. I told him I loved him and to be safe. He said, “Love you too, “Boo” (his nickname for me). See ya in a week!” I didn’t realize when I hugged him; it would be the last time.

On August 2nd, , I was doing my usual hustle around the house: making my son’s lunch, finishing homework, and cleaning up from supper, when my phone rang. I will never forget the terror in my brother’s voice as he told me Dad been in a motorcycle wreck. “I don’t know how bad it is. All I know is they airlifted him to Denver”, he said. I immediately started googling every hospital in Denver, Colorado. The 3rd hospital I called confirmed that he was there and all she could legally tell me over the phone was “Yes, he is in bad shape and you need to get here now”.

Without hesitation, my husband loaded the car. We dropped our son off at his aunt’s and headed out. That was the longest 13 hour drive of my life.

When we finally made it to the hospital we walked into my dad’s room and he was connected to a life support machine. The doctors said there was no brain activity. I can remember me and my brother sitting there, holding his hand, hugging him and just crying… begging him to please wake up. After a few hours, we unplugged the machine and watched his heartbeat fade away and finally flatline. I left that hospital with a huge hole in my heart and a feeling of my world being shattered into a million pieces. How was I going to tell my 5 year old son his “grumpy-paw” was gone?

We were told another bike stopped suddenly in front of him and instead of t-boning the stopped bike, he chose to lay his bike down. He pulled his wife as far off to the side as he could, which caused him to take the full impact of the wreck. He hit his head on the pavement and died on impact. EMT’s said he never felt any pain

It took almost a week to get my dad’s body back to New Mexico so we could bury him.

We asked all of our family and friends to wear Harley t-shirts and boots instead of dress clothes. He would have liked that better.

I will never forget being in total awe as we walked into the church and seeing so many people gathered inside. It was packed! My dad was very loved. After the service, we headed to the cemetery and the sound of all the bikes was heavenly. It sounded like thunder rolling in!

To this day, people are surprised I still ride. I grew up in a biker home, around biker men and woman, my entire life. I love being on the back of my husband’s Harley. It is where I feel my dad’s arms around me. I know he has his hands on us when we cruise.

Please continue to bless us and protect us…til we meet again, Dad!